Those of us who call this great Country our home, always look forward to the arrival of Spring and summer, for obvious weather related reasons!! We at the PMTC look forward to this time of year for other reasons as well, this being our annual conference and AGM that is held in Mid June. This is one of the biggest events on the calendar each year for the Private and dedicated trucking community in our land. This event provides un-surpassed value for the Industry. This year’s conference takes place June 16th and 17th in King City, On, just North of Toronto off the 400. The event offers educational seminars, networking opportunities and our expanded awards program, that celebrates the best of the best in our industry. These are opportunities that you don’t want to miss. Although this conference is themed towards Private Fleets, the education and networking opportunities provide great value for everyone in the industry, whether Private, for Hire, dedicated, or suppliers to the industry. Many who have attended in the past have called this one of the best values in the industry. Last year we set records for number of people in attendance and sponsors alike, and we are on pace to break those numbers again this year. This year’s conference includes the following educational seminars and celebrations.
June 16th provides A Legal Update, PMTC Young Leaders Group RoundTable, (which will also include awarding our first ever Recipient of the Young Leaders Education Bursary) GHG Standards, PMTC-Huron Services Drivers Hall of Fame Award Luncheon, Cargo Crime, Security Protocols, and the Chairman’s Dinner, which includes the PMTC-Aviva Fleet Safety Awards, as well as another new addition to our awards program, the PMTC-MEE-KRTS Truck Driver Training Scholarship. The day then wraps up with the Volvo Scotch and Tractor Showcase reception. Mixed into these events are 2 networking and receptions in our Exhibitors showcase area.
June 17th begins with an Overview on Trends and the Outlook of Private Trucking in the United States, provided by the National Private Truck Council, who are the Private Fleets Representatives in the USA. This is followed by an Update on Electronic Logging Devices in Canada by Transport Canada. The conference wraps up with our AGM and PMTC-3M Canada Vehicle Graphics Awards Luncheon. Just before the luncheon we have one more networking opportunity around our Showcase Exhibitors. For full conference details, email Vanessa Cox at email@example.com, or visit our website at www.pmtc.ca
MELT in Ontario
On April 29th the Ontario Ministry of Transportation Posted It’s Proposed Mandatory Entry Level Training Standard, and opened it up for Comments from the Industry until May 13th. The PMTC has been heavily
involved in this Standard from the beginning, and I personally attended over 20 face to face meetings with the MTO and Industry Stakeholders as the PMTC, and several other Industry Stakeholders, helped guide the Ministry through this process. Rest assured the views and interests of the Private Fleets have been well represented during this process, and I can assure you your voice was heard. I do believe that Mandatory Entry Level Training for Class A/1 drivers is needed to ensure the skill needed to operate a CMV is properly reflected. The majority of the Industry supports the concept of MELT. The current set up, that for the most part requires no mandatory training, no instructor qualifications, and has little to no oversight, poorly reflects on our industry, and misrepresents the skill required to pilot a CMV in todays world. MELT is a great starting point, and Ontario is to be congratulated for taking the lead on this. The MTO is also to be congratulated on the engagement with the industry that was undertaken. The MTO did seek industry input, and were keenly interested in what we had to say. While I do think the Proposed Standard is a good one, and a great step forward, I am not naïve enough to think it will solve everything, and that it won’t have its problems. The PMTC itself, is not 100% satisfied with everything in the standard, and believes strongly that there are some key area’s that should and need to be addressed prior to this standard going into effect. Some of these areas are.
The current proposal has no Instructor Qualifications included in it. While most reputable and quality schools have their own instructor qualifications in place internally, and the MTCU also has their own, we believe some sort of minimum experience, training and a good driving record for an instructor should be included. It appears this may be addressed in the future, but is not planned for the initial release.
The current standard has no requirement for training on a Standard Transmission. All training could be done on an Auto-shift. While several industry stakeholders did not believe the manual requirement was needed, the PMTC believes, that since over 50% of the trucks on our Highways are still standards, a driver should have some knowledge on how to operate these. If not, we at least need some sort of restriction on the license that does not allow a driver to operate a standard until they have received training on it.
While vehicle configurations are being worked on, and will be included in the training standard, we still need to address how we handle vehicles that require a full A license, but fall below the minimum configurations that will be in the standard. We need to find a balancing act between ensuring a person can book a road test and be trained for the type of vehicle they will operate (hydro workers, natural gas companies as a few examples), and ensuring a loop hole is not left open that allows individuals to obtain their training and license on a smaller configuration, and then be licensed to operate a set of B-Trains over the Rockies. While this is still being worked on, we need to ensure this is properly addressed prior to the standard coming to full effect in July of 2017. The PMTC will continue to raise these issues, and work with the MTO and other industry stakeholders as we move forward.
In conclusion, overall the standard is a good one, and the MTO and Industry stakeholders are to be congratulated for how far we have come with this standard. We will never all agree on everything, but we can guarantee our voices are heard.
About the Author
“Mike has 25 years’ of wide ranging experience in the trucking industry, performing such duties as a livestock and grain hauler for 3 years, followed by 5 years of long haul across North America hauling refrigerated and general freight. Mike was also a full time certified driver trainer for 2 years, and then transitioned into Safety and Compliance for 2 years, and then spent over 12 years as a Fleet manager for a Private Fleet. Mike is now the President of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, Canada’s only National Association that represents the views and interest of today’s Private Fleets.” Mike can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org