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April 2008

Training Days

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.

Training Days

As the premier learning resource for the private truck industry, the National Private Truck Council has established a yearlong calendar of training programs geared to fleet professionals.

Each year’s leadoff event is the mid-January Private Fleet Management Institute (PFMI), which, for reasons of lower cost and predictable weather, is held in Jacksonville, FL. This intense, five-day program brims with expert presentations, group problem solving and dynamic interaction with peer fleet practitioners. Limited to about six-dozen participants, the long days of hard work pay off with incredible returns. One veteran of the program said, “I would have never guessed that I could go to a five-day learning experience and learn and share so many ideas…exceeded my expectations completely.

Immediately preceding the PFMI is the CTP Examination Workshop, a full-day event that helps orient candidates for the Certified Transportation Professional examination. Preparation for the exam is also facilitated by the Fleet Learning Center online courses provided by NPTC.

The annual CTP Examination is held each year in February in more than two-dozen locations around the country. The exam, which consists of multiple-choice and case-study questions, is authenticated by a national test research company. Candidates must demonstrate their practical knowledge in solving real-world problems. Some 50-60 individuals register each year in the CTP program; successful candidates are recognized in a graduation ceremony at the NPTC Annual Conference.

February also includes the year’s leadoff NPTC Safety Committee Meeting, one of four held annually focusing on topics of unique interest to safety professionals. In recent years, the committee has conducted an on-site meeting each summer to highlight safety innovations at an NPTC-member company.

In March, NPTC launches its Webcast Series, co-sponsored by J.J. Keller & Associates. Free to NPTC members, the series includes four to five 90-min. programs focusing on driver issues such as productivity pay, score-carding driver performance, dispatcher relations and recognition programs, as well as DOT audits and hours-of-service rules.

In terms of training, the primary event is the Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition, which is typically held in a Midwest location in late April or early May. Great care is devoted to producing a stellar lineup of fleet professionals as speakers and panelists — some 60-70 — covering more than 20 subjects.

Attendees report tremendous return-on-investment for their time and money. The event’s Exhibition Trade Show and opportunities for business networking complement the formal learning sessions. Typical of comments received from attendees, one member wrote: “This was one of the best conferences I’ve attended … the sessions were great, but even more important, the synergism among members was terrific.”

In the fall, NPTC offers its National Safety Conference just outside of Washington, DC, an event that concentrates on the latest technology, management practices, research and regulations impacting safety professionals. Top-rated drivers are included in the discussion to lend an on-the-road perspective.

In both quality and quantity, training days at NPTC continue to “grow better” every year.

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