Stay ahead of the transport game

FTAThe Freight Transport Assiciation gives transport managers a helping hand at a series of educational seminars held this autumn at various locations throughout the country

A transport manager’s life can be difficult for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest challenges is keeping ahead of the huge raft of legislation affecting road transport operators. The Freight Transport Association’s series of Transport Manager seminars can help managers keep one step ahead by offering a unique insight into upcoming transport issues, with expert advice from leading industry speakers.

The long-established seminars, sponsored again this year by commercial vehicle manufacturer Iveco, attracted over 1,000 delegates in 2009. They start at the end of September and take place at 12 venues across the UK until the beginning of December. Each seminar provides a full day’s briefing aimed at anyone with responsibility for running their company’s transport operation – in fact, no other nationwide seminar series gives transport managers a similar opportunity to stay one step ahead of forthcoming changes in road transport legislation.

Impact of recession
At each seminar, the local Traffic Commissioner will be talking about the impact of the recession on operator practices – for instance, whether it has affected operators’ maintenance regimes, plus the Traffic Commissioners’ relationship with the Department for Transport. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency will be speaking on developments in vehicle testing and roadside enforcement, including an update on the new arrangements for Authorised Testing Facilities and progress on a single enforcement database.

A representative from the Association of Chief Police Officers will be discussing the subject of traffic incident management – the impact of poor driver practices on the road network, response procedures of emergency services to a major incident, and the use of preventative technology.

The driver is often the main point of contact with the customer and is, therefore, an important ambassador for the company. To that end, solicitors Backhouse Jones will brief delegates on managing drivers and the ways in which their behaviour impacts on the business.

Iveco will be giving a presentation on the subject of harnessing developments in vehicles – an overview of the market; vehicle efficiencies; maintenance related to OCRS; and telematics. At each event Iveco will be giving one lucky delegate a prize of a gala dinner including a night’s accommodation plus a VIP hospitality pass to one of the Trofeo Abarth 500 races that will be held at a blue ribbon race circuit during the summer of 2011. Plus, one delegate’s name will be drawn at the final event at Ascot to win the grand prize of an all expenses paid, two day visit for two to the Iveco factory at Brescia, where the famed Eurocargo is built.

The day will finish with a round-up by FTA of key legislative developments expected in 2011.

Northern Ireland
A slightly altered programme for the Northern Ireland event will include presentations of specific relevance to operating goods vehicles in the Province, from Richard Lee of Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) Enforcement, and traffic regulator Donald Armstrong. Lee will brief delegates on vehicle testing and roadside enforcement developments, and will give details of the latest Goods Vehicle Compliance and Condition report. Armstrong will give an update on progress towards a system of Operator Licensing in Northern Ireland that will mirror the regime in Great Britain.

There will also be the chance to find out from Beverley Bell, traffic commissioner for North West England, how enforcement authorities in Great Britain view the compliance of Northern Ireland registered vehicles and the extent to which this affects roadside enforcement priorities.

Q&A session
Delegates are also invited to join FTA’s Member Advice Centre team for an interactive game-show style session ‘Who wants to be a transport manager?’, covering key questions and decisions they may be faced with every day. The question and answer session covers the core areas of knowledge that a transport manager needs, including his duties and responsibilities relating to operator licensing, managing risk, ensuring driver competence and roadside enforcement.

This session gives managers an opportunity to test their knowledge and to consider how they would deal with important transport management situations. Just like the TV show, we will be asking the audience by way of anonymous key pads, so managers will be able to compare their own answers with the rest of the delegates, leading to a very lively and informative session.

For more information
For more information on any of the events or to book a place, go to or call the FTA Member Service Centre on 08717 112222.

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