School of private fleets

Jan. 5, 2017
Learning best practices and benchmarking

Over the past decade, the National Private Truck Council has developed a master plan to provide private fleet management practitioners with education, training, and business networking services through live events and web-based information that deliver optimal take-away value at an affordable cost.

The content focus of these services is on best practices, benchmarking data, and model fleets with leading strategic and tactical protocols. These form the basis for continuous improvement of the private fleet through adaptation of world-class operational standards, more sophisticated management practices, innovative technology, more in-depth financial analysis, and greater measurements for equipment and driver safety.

To achieve these objectives, the Council organizes subject matter content into five broad categories: safety and compliance, financial management, operations, equipment and maintenance, and human resources. Within each of the five disciplines, we infuse the latest developments of technology and data management. 

Six major events highlight the NPTC calendar year, and these are repeated in the same sequence but with new and improved information. The year kicks off with the Private Fleet Management Institute in January. This is followed by the Certified Transportation Professional Examination offered nationwide at multiple locations in February and March, meetings of CTP examination graders also held in February and March, Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition held in April or May,  Benchmarking Survey Report published in August, and National Safety Conference held in September.

The latest results of the NPTC Annual Benchmarking Survey Report are integrated to varying degrees into the content of each major meeting event.  Survey questionnaires are sent to fleet members in February and collect data from the previous calendar year. At the annual conference, a preliminary report on the findings of the survey is presented at the final general session. The completed report is then emailed to all members on Aug. 1.

Topics for each major event are selected upon the recommendation of NPTC members through boards and standing committees like the NPTC Institute Board of Governors, Conference Planning Committee, Benchmarking Advisory Committee, and Safety Committee. Expert presentations at these events are made exclusively by fleet member representatives who have been prequalified by NPTC based on their educational/work experience track record and communication skills. All presentations are reviewed and approved in advance and are governed by a long-established set of guidelines and ground rules for speakers and panelists approved by the NPTC board of directors. 

NPTC’s informal network of “teaching faculty” at its major events consists of over 150 professionals made up entirely of fleet member volunteers who see the experience as an invaluable learning opportunity for themselves while making an important contribution to their profession.

Nearly 1,700 representatives of fleet and allied/supplier member companies participate in NPTC events every year: 100 attend the PFMI; 75-90 graduate in each year’s CTP class; 1,250 attend the annual conference; and 230-250 register for the National Safety Conference. Total participation at these events is now two to three times greater than it was 15 years ago.

The foregoing describes NPTC’s School of Private Fleets. Key components of the school’s success are quality students with the best ideas on a path of continuous professional improvement from forward-thinking companies. Take-away value drives future participation. New opportunities for learning and business contacts at NPTC events keep members coming back each year. 

About the Author

Gary Petty

Gary Petty has more than three decades of experience as a CEO of national trade associations in the trucking industry. Since 2001, he has served as president and CEO of the National Private Truck Council, the national trade association founded in 1939, representing the private motor carrier industry. Petty is the Private Fleet Editor and columnist for FleetOwner, where he writes monthly articles about successful managers and business models in the private fleet market.

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