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August 2019

Safety on a Higher Plane

Each month NPTC President and CEO Gary Petty writes a column in Fleet Owner magazine that focuses on the individuals, companies, best practices, and resources that make private trucking the force that it is in the American economy. Reaching more than 100,000 subscribers, three-quarters of whom are private fleet professionals, this column provides an excellent forum to communicate the value of the private fleet. Click here to view the archive.

Gary Petty | | Private Fleet Editor for FleetOwner Magazine
Gary Petty has more than 30 years of experience as CEO of national trade associations in the trucking industry. He has been the president and CEO of the National Private Truck Council since 2001.

Orlando to Host NPTC’s Fall Conference.

THIS YEAR’S NATIONAL SAFETY CONFERENCE steps up on a higher plane as the Council’s longstanding annual leadership forum for private fleet safety best practices and policies. The event will held September 11-13, 2019, at the Omni Championsgate Hotel, Orlando, Florida, and expects to draw over 250 private fleet safety professionals from a wide and diverse spectrum of fleet practitioners and suppliers.

Beginning at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, September 11 and concluding at 12:00 noon on Friday, September 13, the program promises to deliver insights, resources, and leading management protocols that will help fleets enhance their safety effectiveness.

Upgrading the conference to a new, premium-level meeting venue allows for an expansion to a full two-day program with more learning sessions, educational content, and networking opportunities. For the first time ever at an NPTC national safety conference, a new Exhibit Hall will be available and open for five and one-half hours featuring more than three dozen of the leading supplier/vendors in the industry. Although the hall at its original size sold out in April, additional booths have since been added and a few are still available for sale. Contact Serena Porter at for further information.

The purpose of this event is to provide attendees with management resources, ideas, and a business network of contacts to help private fleets build a strong safety culture within their companies. With the assistance of the Council’s Safety Committee, the conference features a series of general sessions, business networking sessions, and safety-in-the-round discussions led by a faculty of nearly two dozen of the nation’s leading safety practitioner experts.

“Over two intense days, we have packed a wide range of insightful and usable information,” says Carol Heinowski, Logistics Manager, Safety and Compliance, Meijer, Inc.; Chair of the NPTC Board of Directors, and Chair of NPTC’s Safety Committee. “The Safety Conference is just a great venue to learn and network with fleet safety experts who really are on the leading edge of best practices and innovative changes. Attendees take away dozens of ideas which can be readily implemented in their own operations.”

Examples of topics presented are newest equipment technology and its impact on safety; driver “buy-in” to a culture of safety; safety as a component of customer service; the safety edge of driver longevity; avoiding in a time of driver shortages the temptation to shortcut screening and compliance; and implementing a new safety bonus plan that drives overall safety improvement.

Breakout sessions will discuss data aggregation strategies; predictive modeling; new driver onboarding and training; working with third parties to improve safety; defensive driving coaching; data liability, fatigue management, and a dozen or more similar topics.

Top federal safety officials will address the conference. Keynote speakers include National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) Vice Chair Bruce Landsberg on Thursday morning, September 12th, and FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez on Friday morning, September 13th. Landsberg served as executive director of the Air Safety Foundation, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force as a missile launch officer for the Minuteman III ICBM in North Dakota. Martinez served as Chair and Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and as a Deputy Chief at the U.S. Department of State under President George W. Bush.

As in years past, the conference will be highlighted by the annual National Driver All-Stars Recognition Ceremony held from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Thursday, September 12th, sponsored by NPTC and International Truck/Navistar. Nearly two dozen drivers from individual NPTC member companies will be honored this year for their exceptional performance in safety, regulatory compliance, and customer service.

A record attendance is expected at the conference. Registrations to-date far exceed levels of past years and NPTC’s block of rooms at the Omni Championsgate Hotel is selling out fast at a special rate of $174 per night. This rate is also available to NPTC guests staying two nights over the weekend following the conference. For further details about the conference, see

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