CINCINNATI.  The National Private Truck Council (NPTC) honored those who earned the organization’s Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) designation at the general membership meeting which opened NPTC’s 2013 Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition here yesterday. Josh Botnen, senior product manager for DriveCam, Inc., graduated at the top of the CTP Class of 2013, which included 51 total graduates.

“It is important for us to understand our customers’ businesses, what is going on and what challenges they face,” Botnen told Fleet Owner, which sponsors the Top CTP Graduate award. “It helps us build better products for them.”

Botnen, who has been with DriveCam for nearly three and a half years, got to know something about the trucking industry long before DriveCam. “My dad works for a grocery distributor,” he said, “so I spent my summers working in the warehouse—as a picker and unloading. When I attended the Private Fleet Management Institute [to prepare for taking the CTP certification test] it all clicked together.”

To prepare for the tough exam, Botnen said he also used NPTC’s new interactive Private Fleet Management Online (PFMO) program, a joint project of Instructional Technologies Inc. (ITI) and NPTC. Launched in October, of 2012, PFMO is a five-volume e-book of more than 900 total pages covering all five core disciplines of private fleet management, including safety, security and compliance; human resources and workplace development; finance; fleet operational management; and equipment and maintenance strategies.

“I used the PFM online tool and went through all the chapter summaries,” he said. “I answered all the questions and then kept going back and reviewing to make sure I understood the core principles.”

Botnen said he did not go into the program expecting to graduate at the head of the class, just hoping to pass the test on the first try. The entire process was “a really good experience,” he observed and well worth the investment.

“If you are at all interested in fleet operations, it is really worth it,” he observed. “The networking and getting to know and understand all the various areas of fleet management was an incredibly satisfying experience. I am extremely honored to be able to put CTP after my name.”

Tom Moore, senior vice president for NPTC, noted during the awards presentation that, “As a group, the Class of 2013 represents one of the most experienced classes of candidates ever to go through the program.

“The individuals that we have here today to honor have proven to themselves and to their companies that they have mastered the core subject matter areas needed [in order to understand and manage a successful private fleet operation],” he said.

The CTP program is in its 20th year of operation, Moore added. “With this year’s class, more than 1,000 individuals have earned the right to add CTP after their name. The CTP designation is a benchmark of excellence earned by a special few, but available to any fleet or transportation specialist willing to make the necessary commitment of dedicated effort.”