Private fleet managers get an innovative “e-book”

As someone who has been writing content forCCJ’s website and print magazine for the past 12 years, I’m always on the lookout for better ways to present information to readers. Companies are always coming up with new ways to make information easier to access and digest, and keeping up with the latest trends in the delivery of news and content is a big part of what we do. 

Today I had the chance to get a preview of a new interactive, multimedia “e-book” designed for managers of private fleets to use as a how-to guide and reference manual. The e-book, called Private Fleet Manager Online, was developed by Instructional Technologies, Inc., (ITI) in cooperation with the National Private Truck Council (NPTC).

Earlier this year, NPTC executives Gary Petty and Tom Moore approached ITI about the possibility of moving the educational and training materials the organization has developed for its Private Fleet Management Institute to an online format. Until now, NPTC members have been able to access these materials electronically as a Word-style document, but this document has become very cumbersome. It has grown to more than 900 pages over the years, with more content being added and updated every year.

Accessing information in such a massive document had become very difficult. Updating information also had become cumbersome, especially as of late with all of the changing regulations and new best practices for these regulations. Managing updates was even more difficult for NPTC members that used the print edition.

NPTC members that go through PFMI have been using the documents to prepare to become a Certified Transportation Professional. Members that pass the rigorous exam earn the right to add the distinctive “CTP” to their title.

ITI used all of this content when creating Private Fleet Management Online. The program is a five-volume e-book that spans the five core disciplines of private fleets. It is based on best practices, strategies and operational excellence from the nation’s top fleet managers.

The content is part training material, part resource for best practices, and part reference guide for ever–changing regulations and technologies. The more than 900 “pages” in the e-book cover Equipment, Maintenance, Operations, Safety and Compliance, HR and Finance.

PFMO was built for two primary groups, says Dr. James Voorhees, CEO of Instructional Technologies, which is best known for Pro-­‐TREAD online driver training. The first group will use it to study and to help advance their career. Users can take notes and bookmark sections electronically as they learn through text, video, interactive elements and more.

PFMO was also designed for a second group that will use PFMO on a daily basis as a reference guide in their pocket with the ability to have online access from any device with a web browser.

Together with the NPTC’s advisory committees, ITI will be updating PFMO at least quarterly so that subscribers always have the most up-to-date information on regulations and technology, Vorhees says.

As regulations change —such as the ban on handheld cellphones and the new Hazmat CSA BASIC —the information will be pushed automatically to subscribers.

Vorhees says that ITI plans to develop an e-book for managers of commercial, over-the-road transportation companies as well.