Risky business

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The third annual Commercial Carrier Journal Fleet Forum will be held in Dallas during the Great American Trucking Show on Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Dallas Convention Center, followed by entertainment at nearby Gilley’s restaurant and bar. The one-day forum is a great opportunity for fleet executives to network and gain insight into running their business more effectively. This year’s topic, “Managing Risk in an Unforgiving Climate,” will address some important ways to lower financial and legal risks related to fuel, equipment, drivers, accidents and customers.

Featured speakers include David Hugel, deputy administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Featured speaker Ken “The Snake” Stabler, the legendary Oakland Raiders quarterback, will provide his insights into building teamwork and motivating employees.

Fleet executives and industry experts will lead the individual sessions, which tentatively include:

A crash course in liability. Despite your best efforts, accidents happen. But financially speaking, the real damage often is done before and sometimes after a catastrophic crash. Learn what policies, practices and mistakes are the most damaging and can lead to punitive damages.

Hedging your bets on fuel. Most fleet owners would benefit more from reducing volatility and upward price swings than from getting the lowest available pump price. This session discusses the fundamentals of fuel hedging and helps you decide whether it’s right for you.

Don’t let customers stick it to you. The devil is in the details. Clauses in shipper and broker contracts can leave you holding the bag – even when you have done nothing wrong. A leading transportation attorney outlines the most dangerous contract terms and discusses best practices for avoiding them.

Do your drivers need an intervention? Many fleets pay little attention to their drivers’ performance until there is an accident or serious safety lapse, but some fleets take a more proactive approach. Learn how trucking operations try to improve retention and lower crash risk through intervention, and hear about existing and emerging tools to improve visibility into driver safety.

Spying on your equipment. Hear how some fleet owners are using telematics to maximize uptime and reduce overall maintenance and repair costs.

Sponsors for the 2007 CCJ Fleet Forum include Bridgestone, Cummins, EPA’s SmartWay and Grow & Go, Midnight Trucking Radio Network, Peterbilt, Shell Lubricants and the Texas Motor Transportation Association. For more information and reservations, visit this site.