Arrow partners with driving school to cut emissions

CASTLEGAR, B.C. — Arrow Transport has taken up a challenge from a B.C. truck driver training school to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through an innovative training program.

Earlier this year, Natural Resources Canada partnered with Mountain Transport Institute to find out if a truck-driving simulator can reduce GHG emissions. The pilot project was to be based on NRCan’s SmartDriver for Highway Trucking program, so MTI went out to find 100 drivers from western Canadian carriers to volunteer.

“Reducing our GHG emissions while maintaining or improving operational performance is an important, but not easy to achieve, goal for Arrow Transport,” says Tim Bell, Arrow’s general manager of interior operations. “We believe the MTI program will help us to achieve those objectives.”

The Vancouver-based Arrow Transport has enlisted 44 drivers, who will receive individual evaluations before and after an enhanced classroom session.

The initiative being run by MTI aims to recruit 100 drivers in total. Half will receive an on-the-road driving evaluation, while the other half will receive their driving evaluation through a sophisticated driving simulator.

All drivers will then receive classroom training in the SmartDriver program before hitting the road again in the simulator or on the road. The results will be compared to the pre-classroom results to determine the cost savings and GHG emission reduction.

After training, the drivers will receive access to daily reports on their fuel usage from the Fuel Coach driver reporting system. Participating carriers will have the opportunity to develop a gain-sharing bonus program in conjunction with Fuel Coach to reward drivers for saving fuel.

"By using both a driving simulator and on-the-road training, this program provides individual driver feedback which will maximize the savings for the carrier, the customer and the environment," says Andy Roberts, president of MTI.

NRCan’s contribution has dropped the fee for the SmartDriver and Fuel Coach program from $1,000 per driver to $200.

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