Regulatory issues, economic outlook fill NTTC annual conference agenda

NATIONAL Tank Truck Carriers members are heading to Baltimore, Maryland, for the association's 63nd Annual Conference and Tank Truck Equipment Show May 22-24.

NTTC turns to Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr, who played 21 seasons for the hometown Orioles, for the 8 am keynote address on May 23 that will open the business sessions for this year's annual conference.

Records are made to be broken, but Ripken's mark of 2,632 consecutive games played seems pretty safe. Over a period of 16 years, he never missed a game. Of course, he did much more than just show up for work every day — he amassed 3184 hits and 431 home runs for the Orioles before heading to the Hall of Fame.

Shattering Lou Gehrig's streak of 2,131 games by more than 500, Ripken displayed perseverance, endurance, and an everyday work ethic that endeared him to fans, transformed him into a national icon.

Speaking at the NTTC Safety Awards luncheon will be Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administrator Anne Ferro, who took the helm early last year. With implementation of the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program (CSA), a new hours-of-service proposal, efforts to expand the use of Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBRs) and a host of other issues, she will have little difficulty finding topics for the presentation when she returns to her native Maryland.

Prior to her appointment to the FMCSA, she led the Maryland Motor Truck Association as its president and chief executive officer from 2003 to 2009. Previously, she served as the State of Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administrator from 1997 to 2003.

Steve Rush, NTTC chairman, will chair a panel on electronic logging and EOBRs. NTTC recently adopted a position supporting FMCSA's proposal for mandating EOBRs.

Economic issues will be addressed by several speakers, including Bob Costello, American Trucking Associations senior vice-president and economist; Denny Slagle, president & chief executive officer of Mack Trucks Inc; and Ken Sterling, senior vice-president of BB&T Capital Markets.

Other seminar topics and presenters are scheduled and will include:

  • Wendy Sullivan, Precision Pulmonary Diagnostics, will discuss Driver Health & Wellness issues as part of NTTC's Y2011 The Year of Tank Truck Driver Sustainability program.

  • ATA Chairman and past NTTC Chairman Barbara Windsor will present a trucking industry report.

  • Attorney Robert Franklin, Franklin & Prokopik, will address legal issues involving electronic data and CSA.

  • NTTC staff will address several current ongoing rulemakings, including wetlines, cargo tank loading and unloading, and hours of service.

  • Jeff McCaig, Trimac Transportation; Steve Rush, Carbon Express; and Greg Hodgen, Groendyke Transport; and NTTC's consultant will make a presentation on the association's Strategic Plan, including new vision and mission statements.

NTTC has made several changes to the format for the meeting this year. The convention begins Sunday, May 12, with the exhibit setup from 11 am-2 pm. At 3 pm, the equipment show and registration open. The Chairman's reception gets underway at 5:30 pm.

Monday events include the opening breakfast at 8 am with the keynote speaker followed by exhibits at 9:30 am and general session at 10:30 am. Following lunch at 12:30 pm, exhibits close at 2 pm. In the afternoon, the membership and board of directors meeting is set for 2 pm.

Tuesday activities are highlighted by the Safety Awards luncheon, which has been switched from the morning breakfast. Exhibits are available from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm. The general session begins at 11 am. At 5 pm, the conference concludes with the Allied Committee for the Trucking Industry Reception.

The conference is being held at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, which recently renovated 586 guestrooms and 34 suites have been revived with unprecedented comfort and include new amenities including flat panel televisions, iPod docking stations and improved high-speed Internet connectivity.

The Renaissance is located two blocks from the Baltimore Convention Center and just steps from the area's most unique sights and attractions, including the world-famous Inner Harbor, home to the Baltimore Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, and 120 dining and shopping options.

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