Technological advances are re-shaping countless industries and the way they do business, and the transportation industry is no exception. Last month, we explored how cutting edge innovation is impacting the transportation industry with a focus on the computerization and automation of trucks. It was clear that despite impressive advances in automation, the role of drivers is far from obsolete. It is simply progressing, and that evolution is exciting to witness.
The computerization of trucks isn’t the only way technology is impacting our industry. Driver training has also evolved as a result of technological advancements. Time and time again, CHET has embraced these advancements. We are continuously searching for ways to integrate and utilize new resources and tools to improve the quality of driver training and ultimately prepare our graduates for safe and successful commercial driving careers.
Let’s take a closer look at how technological advances are being used to enhance the quality of driver training at CHET.
Learning to operate a commercial vehicle that weighs tens of thousands of pounds is a tremendous responsibility. To be a confident driver, you need experience. It goes without saying that a great deal of experience is gained from hands-on behind-the-wheel training, where a new driver is accompanied by a seasoned training instructor. At CHET, drivers must log 50 hours in the cab with a driving instructor.
While there is great value in hands-on training, there will inevitably be situations that a new driver will not encounter in training, from breakdowns to bad weather. Simulator training helps bridge the gap by preparing drivers for a variety of situations they may not face on the road during the in-the-cab portion of their training. In simulator training, drivers get an opportunity to put into practice the diverse skills they learn in the classroom.
According to CHET Operations Manager Philip Fletcher, many drivers assert that simulator training reduces the angst of getting behind the wheel. It gives drivers an opportunity to get a realistic feel for operating their vehicle in different situations. They learn to navigate challenges in real-time and get invaluable guidance from their instructors who have experienced those same challenges in their own careers behind the wheel.
Some of the skills drivers learn in the simulator component of their training include:
- Shifting coordination
- Correct Tempo and Pace
- Use of proper RPMs
- Double Clutching
- Ability to turn corners safely
Multimedia in Training
As discussed in Technology and Training in Transportation – Part 1, the development of CHET’s Student Portal is also a reflection of our commitment to using technological advancements in digital media to improve the quality of driver training.
Features such as the ability to complete portions of training online have also made driver training more accessible and convenient. Drivers-in-training that live far from training centers or have busy schedules can complete certain tests and computer modules remotely at their convenience. With access to a Smart Phone or personal computer, our students can review course materials, access educational tools and resources and track their progress with greater ease and convenience than ever before using a secure personal dashboard.
Other key features that set CHET apart from other driving schools are our multimedia instructional videos, video tutorials and training materials. CHET’s driving trainers have produced videos that help demonstrate lessons that are hard to convey through a traditional oral presentation alone, such as “Sliding Tandems”. Our instructional videos bring training modules to life, making them easier to conceptualize and understand. Some of our instructional videos cover topics such as:
Taking Advantage of Volvo Driver Training E-Courses
Volvo Trucks Academy has an online video portal that breaks down driving maneuvers, strategies and technical procedures, making them a valuable tool both for commercial driving students as well as drivers already in the workforce.
These instructional videos called eLearnings are available to customers and drivers through the Volvo Trucks website. Fleets and driving schools that utilize Volvo vehicles are not charged for their drivers to access the Volvo Driver Training website.
CHET has put a lot of focus on being able to access information via online portals. Once our students have “left the nest” we want them to still be able to check, verify and learn when they are out on the road. To this end, we have aligned ourselves with VOLVO so that our drivers can access relevant information about their truck systems and technologies.
To access the site, drivers complete an easy registration, log in, select the available courses and track their completion of the courses. After successfully completing an eLearning, drivers take a short test and receive their score. Courses can be repeated as necessary to review content.
At present, there are 13 eLearnings available covering the unique features of Volvo trucks as well as best practices relevant to all truck drivers:
- Driving for Fuel Efficiency – Principles of Shifting
- Driving for Fuel Efficiency – Maintenance Principles
- Driving for Fuel Efficiency – Momentum Management
- Driving with SCR
- Understanding the Diesel Particulate Filter
- Effective Pre-Trip Inspection
- Volvo Vehicle Basics
- Driving with VEST
- Driver Information Display (DID)
- Volvo Passive and Active Safety Devices
- Understanding and Operation I-Shift
- Volvo Idle Reduction
- Volvo Enhanced Cruise
Thinking About a Career in Transportation?
At CHET Truck Driver Training, a Ministry of Advanced Education and Skill Development (MAESD) mandated program, we’re constantly searching for ways to raise the bar of drivers’ training. This has earned us a reputation as one of Ontario’s premium truck driving schools. Our program boasts a combination of classroom education and hands-on in-truck training delivery 1 on 1 by certified instructors.
CHET has 20 years of experience preparing and educating tomorrow’s truck drivers. Becoming more than just AZ road test-ready, our drivers learn such skills as map reading, trip planning, understanding basic mechanical issues, transportation of dangerous goods, and much more.
After drivers successfully complete the CHET program, they are issued a certificate equivalent to two to three years of driving experience, leading to greater employment and higher salaries. CHET also often offers employment to its graduates at The Musket Transport Ltd., Ontario’s largest intermodal carrier.
Contact us to learn more about CHET’s flexible, affordable programs.
For Part 1 of this article click here.