“We spent some time reviewing the material and making sure it fits the industry of today when it comes to learning perspectives, objectives, and technology,” said Bison Transport’s Garth Pitzel, Director, Safety and...
“We spent some time reviewing the material and making sure it fits the industry of today when it comes to learning perspectives, objectives, and technology,” said Bison Transport’s Garth Pitzel, Director, Safety and Driver Development.
As an industry stakeholder involved in the consultation process, Pitzel noted that Bison Transport has already built a lot of its own in-house training but wanted to be part of redeveloping Smart Driver for Highway because “we believe we have a responsibility to make the industry better and that issues are being addressed in an effective matter. Programs like these are important to the long-term success of our industry,” he said.
“For the smaller carriers without training resources having a good program they can obtain raises the benchmark from a safety, image, environmental perspective. That’s why we got involved with the program. It’s important to give back to the industry, create benchmarks and resources not only in Canada but in the wider North American market,” said Pitzel.
He noted that an e-learning environment would be a huge win for the trucking industry where drivers who are absent from their home terminals for significant periods can learn on their own time.
For the e-learning materials to be relevant and to stick, however, Pitzel stressed that modules that touch on fuel efficiency and reduced idling must also be part of everyday company culture.
“If you as a business are not talking about idle time and fuel efficiency that training is useless. You have to continue to talk about those processes. You need to keep following up and continually support the training in the culture of your business,” he said.
E-learning materials must also have a built in feedback process so that there is access to information and to answers whenever any questions come up.
The best trainers, he said, are the people who have a passion for what they’re talking about, and an ability to articulate how to be a safe driver.
“When that comes through and when they can transmit the importance of that issue, that is going to be what’s effective,” said Pitzel.
John Bortoluss, Driver Trainer, Truck Training Schools of Ontario Inc., said he would like to see the program monitored “and see if the program is getting the results we want. Saving fuel was never a consideration in the past by anybody. We have to make new drivers understanding that saving fuel saves the environment and if fuel costs are down, wages will go up,” he said.
He said he would also like to make the course part of the licensing program for new commercial drivers.
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