What is the best driver training program for fuel efficiency?

We at Performance Innovation Transport (PIT) have been training drivers since 1999. We have developed a driver training program and have used others driver training programs, and have measured the different impact of training a driver in a classroom vs in-cab coaching vs simulators.

No matter the results of these studies my answer is always the same…success all depends on what you do AFTER the training.

As fleet managers, you have probably invested in time management courses. You came out of the class all pumped up knowing you will now be able to accomplish so much more by being more focused, more organized, answering your emails at a certain time only… Then what?

Well the majority of us fall back in our old ruts. The best people may have retained one trick or two.

Why is that? It is hard to break old habits that we have developed over decades. So a few hours in a classroom will not do (nor, by the way, will a 3 day seminar)! Would it be different if you had your teacher coming back the next week to review some basics with you and the week after and… or even better telling you in real time “stop jumping from task to task without finishing anything!"

So why are we expecting our drivers to be so much smarter and disciplined than us? Just like us, they are professional in their work and have developed good and bad habits over time. Breaking this will take time… and reminders!

So what should you do after the training is over? Monitoring, providing feedback, encouraging…

Anytime a fleet manager is coming to us with a request for training, we first ask if they have a monitoring plan. Do you have people in place to do it? If not, my advce is always the same: "Don’t waste your money on a training program until you have a monitoring plan in place as well."

Our studies show that driver training programs are all good as they make people think about fuel economy and safety behaviors. Most drivers know what to do, continued training is just a way to remind them or show them the value they can bring to the company.

However,without feedback drivers will get back in their old ruts within 6 weeks. So, a great training that brings 10 % savings or an OK training that brings 5% savings will have the same result after 6 weeks…0%

So. my advice to anyone considering a driver training program? Do it! But make sure you have a continued monitoring program in place as well!

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