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When it comes to fuel efficiency – or lack thereof – it may shock you to learn that…

*The cost of fuel has become the single largest expense for operating a heavy-duty truck – more than operator salaries, maintenance costs, or the purchase price of the truck.

*Over 90 km/h, each additional 10 km/h increases fuel consumption by approximately 10%.

*At $1.05/litre, the cost of fuel for a heavy-duty truck getting 45 L/100 km and traveling 150,000 km per year is around $71,000.

*At $1.05/litre, improving fuel efficiency by just 10% would save $7,100 in fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 14 tonnes per year.

In an increasingly environmentally conscious world with steadily rising fuel prices, it’s critical that new drivers learn the latest fuel efficiency techniques. Truck drivers’ habits have the potential to directly and dramatically impact fuel consumption and efficiency in a number of ways.

Fuel economy can vary widely based on the driver’s skill level. For that reason, many carriers offer fuel bonuses to truck drivers that achieve certain efficiency levels. To help drivers realize better fuel efficiency and reduce mounting fuel costs, many trucking companies and key players in the industry are also introducing technological and design improvements to increase fuel mileage, which will positively affect both the economy and the environment.

To ensure that our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve fuel efficiency by as much as 35%, CHET is offering a SmartDriver Highway Trucking (SDHT) program. Drivers who complete the program stand to improve their safety, industry competitiveness and personal income, as well as experience less wear and tear on their vehicle and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The SmartDriver Highway Trucking Program
SmartDriver is a training program developed by the Natural Resources Canada Office of Energy Efficiency to promote the fuel-efficient operation of heavy duty transport trucks. It was designed to offer drivers practical information and tools to achieve optimal fuel efficiency in a broad range of driving conditions.

Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario, TTSAO, is offering the SmartDriver for Highway Trucking course through its participating member schools. CHET is proud to be one such member.

In the program, drivers will learn such things as:

*A wide range of driving practices and recommendations, including starting the engine, revving, idling, blending horsepower and torque, clutching, and how to use progressive shifting
*How truck spec’ing can influence fuel performance
*The art of progressive shifting for increased fuel economy
*How pre-trip inspections influence how well the power unit can perform
*The importance of getting your truck serviced in a timely fashion
*How small aspects of your truck’s performance affects its overall efficiency
*How fuel efficient practices improve personal and environmental safety
*Why the quality of your pre-trip and post-trip inspection dramatically impact fuel economy
*Why safe driving practices increase fuel efficiency and how to incorporate defensive driving into a SmartDriver regimen

By investing in your professional development in the area of fuel economy, you’ll benefit from the experience of drivers and technicians who have spent decades learning the subtle differences in fuel maximization and safe driving techniques. The end result? You become a better, safer driver with greater earning potential and a smaller ecological footprint.

The SmartDriver Highway Trucking Program offers new drivers the opportunity to learn about their vehicle, their driving tendencies, and the close relationship to safe driving and fuel economy. By applying these critical lessons, they’ll be well on their way to driving like veterans.

Interested in the the SmartDriver Highway Trucking Program? Click here.

To help raise awareness of SDHT training, we created this video with Mr. Kim Richardson, Chairman of the TTSAO Board. Watch the video now.

Photo series of filming our SDHT video – click here for the full album.

Chairman of TTSAO and CHET Manager

Filming SDHT with Chairman of TTSAO

CHET Student and Instructor

CHET Student and Instructor

CHET Musket