The Professional Truck Driver Institute's Transition Committee held its first meeting recently in Dallas. The committee's job is to look into changing PTDI from an organization managed by the Truckload Carriers Assn. to one that is totally independent.

According to the TCA newsletter, the committee identified broader industry involvement, determined the need for additional quality control in the courses and programs it certifies, developed a more functional organizational structure for the PTDI Board of Directors, and recognized the need to solicit additional funding.
Committee members felt that PTDI, partly because of its association with TCA, has been viewed as strictly serving the long-haul truckload market. But other segments of the industry need well-trained drivers, as well. The committee felt that PTDI needs to be flexible enough to meet more of this need, and that flexibility needs to be communicated to the industry.
Another criticism has been that after courses are certified, the quality of those courses may be uneven. The committee believes that more attention needs to be paid to developing systems to monitor and enforce compliance with PTDI standards.
The PTDI Board's current size is too unwieldy to be effective. Therefore, the committee agreed that operating decisions and responsibilities should be undertaken by an Executive Committee, aided by an executive director. The Executive Committee would be made up of three officers and five committee chairs, each of whom would be responsible for one of the major areas needing attention (fundraising, marketing, standards, quality, and industry relations).
The fundraising committee will assume greater importance as it identifies other potential sources of funding. Two more members were added to the committee.
A detailed draft Transition Plan, incorporating these proposals, will be circulated to Transition Committee members by the end of the month. After committee members have had time to comment on the plan, it will be presented to the PTDI Board at its Sept. 6 meeting in Dallas.
If the Board approves the plan, the organizational changes would be adopted before the end of 2000, but the actual separation from TCA probably wouldn't happen until the Spring of 2001 at the earliest.