Truck News


FleetSmart goes hi-tech to spread the word

PEMBROKE, Ont. - The results of the first-ever technical workshop web cast held by FleetSmart were so encouraging, more web-based workshops are in store for 2003.About 115 people across the country tu...

PEMBROKE, Ont. – The results of the first-ever technical workshop web cast held by FleetSmart were so encouraging, more web-based workshops are in store for 2003.

About 115 people across the country tuned into a 90-minute workshop web cast on how cab heaters and air conditioning units can save on fuel costs.

The Nov. 20 workshop was broadcast from the Irving Big Stop truck stop.

“It was actually very encouraging. As far as we’re concerned, it’s very, very successful,” says Madeleine Middleton, FleetSmart program manager.

FleetSmart, which is administered by Natural Resources Canada, has a mandate to help fleets and owner/operators cut their fuel costs and vehicle emissions, and improve productivity, by making vehicles and operations more energy efficient.

The problem is reaching the target audience spread out around the country.

Holding a technical workshop would present a logistical, impractical nightmare if it were not for the Internet, says Middleton.

“The only other option would be holding seminars in various places across the country.”

It would mean people would have to take time to travel workshops – time they don’t have especially if they’re long-haul drivers on the road.

So that’s why FleetSmart decided to take advantage of technology and hired an Ottawa video and film production company to produce the web cast at a truck stop in the national capital region.

“It’s extremely hard to reach people. Sometimes going where they spend a lot of time shows that the government is making a serious effort in their interests,” says Middleton.

“This way you do it once, and you reach a whole slew of people.”

The FleetSmart web casts can be viewed on either a PC (with sound card) or a Macintosh computer, using Windows Media Player 7 (a free download is available through a link on the FleetSmart Web site,

A high-speed Internet connection is required to view the workshop web cast.

If you missed the first Nov. 20 technical workshop on cab heaters and air conditioners, an edited version is archived at

Also watch for an article on this topic based on the cab heaters web cast in an upcoming issue of Truck News.

At time of writing, FleetSmart was planning a second Web cast on Electronic Control Modules (ECMs), to be broadcast in January.

The broadcast date and location was not yet available at press time.

For more information about upcoming FleetSmart technical workshop web casts, contact Madeleine Middleton, FleetSmart program manager at 613 947-8381 or e-mail


In last month’s issue of Truck News, we ran an article on page 10, entitled FleetSmart launches Idle-Free Quiet Zones.

We regret that a mistake was made about the amount of fuel burned while idling.

Instead, it should say the wear and tear on the vehicle for one hour of idling equals three to five hours of engine operating time on the road at cruising speed.

We apologize for any confusion or inconveniences.

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