If your idea of a national trade association is lifestyle augmentation through expense-deductible junkets to luxury resorts, an old NFL coach as a typical keynote speaker, educational sessions lightly attended or skipped altogether, and plenty of golf, beer, industry gossip and fun-in-the-sun bonhomie among peers, the National Private Truck Council (NPTC) will disappoint.

Our membership is made up of hard-working, performance-oriented professionals who are seeking new more efficient ways of adding value, improving service and producing results. They expect and get the same from NPTC. The Council's latest affiliation with FLEET OWNER is a case in point.

The association and the magazine are now officially aligned in a partnership that represents a synergistic fit of complementary strengths. NPTC is the only national organization whose sole mission is to represent the interests of private truck fleets and affiliated services, especially before congressional policymakers and federal agency regulators.

FLEET OWNER affords the Council access to the entire private fleet market and provides an elevated media platform from which NPTC can communicate with its current members, as well as a large audience of potential members. It's to this latter group I'd like to devote special attention.

The major reasons for belonging to NPTC are advocacy and education. NPTC is often the only voice speaking for private fleets and their affiliated service providers in Washington. Government officials and regulators are particularly interested in NPTC's perspective on trucking/transportation issues because as a group we're among the largest and best practitioners of truck safety. In addition, we represent a cross-section of American manufacturers, distributors, processors and retailers, ranging in size from local, family-run companies to Fortune 500 global conglomerates. One example of this advocacy is the Council's Safety Committee, which provides an active venue for shaping motor-carrier safety policy.

Through its Institute for Truck Transportation Management, Annual Education/Management Conference, Fleet Management Institute, Safety Seminars, Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) program, Home-Study Courses and numerous training publications, NPTC offers comprehensive training and certification services for private fleet managers. The Council tracks research and shares appropriate benchmarking and profit-enhancing practices to help reaffirm private fleet systems as competitive business models.

Why not join NPTC now? If you haven't been to a Council event in recent years, or are just now learning who we are, come to our Annual Education/Management Conference in Nashville, May 20-23, 2001, and see for yourself how this organization can help you in your job and career.

There's a lot going on in the private fleet market. Mergers, consolidations, pressure to get products to market faster, cheaper and safer, more sophisticated e-technology tools to work smarter and faster, and government regulators poised to demand expensive restraints on the safe flow of commerce are just a sampling of the elements at work in our business.

Come to NPTC and find out how the leading professionals are preparing for this ever-changing market as well as a slower economy ahead. You can reach me at petty@nptc.org or at 703-683-1300, ext. 221. I look forward to hearing from you.




Gary Petty is president and CEO of NPTC. His column will appear monthly in FLEET OWNER.