Canada creates new SmartDriver Program to reduce GHG, costs in commercial trucking

Canadian B Train carrying Lumber Photo:

Heavy-duty vehicles account for 37% of GHG emissions in transportation sector

The Federal government announced a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)’s flagship training program for commercial truck drivers which offers improved tools to prepare drivers for the demands of modern trucking, according to a press release.

Today’s operating environment for the commercial transportation industry is marked by growing fuel costs and the need for increased environmental responsibility.

“This program will help meet the trucking industry’s growing demand for safe, fuel-efficient drivers, while educating existing operators on improved driving techniques. The real savings come in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions, helping meet Canada’s domestic and international climate goals,” said Jim Carr Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, announced a redesigned online SmartDriver for Highway Trucking (SDHT) program to help the commercial trucking industry reduce operating costs while decreasing GHG emissions.

Developed in consultation with industry, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)’s flagship training program for commercial truck drivers offers improved tools to prepare drivers for the demands of modern trucking.

Flexible and convenient, the online, in-classroom and on-road training materials help drivers and instructors improve their driving efficiency.

SDHT Online makes extensive use of animation and on-location video to demonstrate techniques, while SDHT Classroom provides fleet and commercial driving schools with all the resources needed to deliver approximately three hours of high-impact training.

The new SDHT On-Road Practicum pairs drivers and trainers for pre- and post-training drives in a cab or simulator to give drivers a chance to demonstrate and perfect the fuel-efficient driving techniques they have learned.

With heavy-duty vehicles accounting for 37 per cent of GHG emissions from the transportation sector, fuel-efficient equipment and the driving practices featured in the SDHT program can help individual drivers reduce their fuel consumption by up to 35 per cent.

“Natural Resources Canada’s SmartDriver for Highway Trucking program has been a key component of the Ontario Truck Training Academy (OTTA)’s entry-level commercial driver training program for over a decade. This modernized program will help OTTA continue to outline the benefits of fuel efficiency and educate drivers on the impacts of safe, energy-saving driving behaviours,” said Yvette Lagrois President, Ontario Truck Training Academy.

Last October, a Canadian delegation trained the first class of Brazilian instructors in the delivery of SDHT, helping fulfil Canada’s G20 commitment to support international efforts to green the freight sector. This will now serve as a model for work with other jurisdictions.

SDHT learning materials are available free of charge to drivers, fleets and training organizations. For more information, visit the FleetSmart website at

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