Executive Summary

SMART Driving Training Programme for Heavy Goods Vehicle Drivers

The research report highlights potential economic, environmental and road safety benefits arising from the SMART Driving upskilling programme. It outlines key digital advances that are impacting on everyday HGV driver experience. SMART Driving is a series of eco-driving behaviours which along with the adoption of new truck safety and efficiency technologies has the potential to lower CO2 emissions, reduce fuel usage, increase productivity and improve driver and road user safety.

Executive Summary

This research outlines the potential benefits and programme content of a 3-day upskilling SMART-DRIVING training Programme for Heavy Goods Vehicles Drivers being developed by Mayo/Sligo/Leitrim ETB in collaboration with Waterford and Wexford ETB and the Irish Road Haulage Association.

The programme is being offered free to employers. It is funded through the SOLAS “Innovation through Collaboration” Fund.  The programme supports the objectives of the SOLAS “Supporting Working Lives and Enterprise” policy and is well aligned with Government Climate Change Agenda, Getting Brexit Ready, Workforce Upskilling policies. The programme will be delivered to 300 HGV drivers over a 2-year period with potential to be mainstreamed more widely within the FET sector. The first pilot will be run in April in Mayo/Sligo/Leitrim and a second in May in Wexford/Waterford.

SMART Driving is a strategy that enhances driver performance, increases fuel efficiency, lowers carbon emissions and improves road safety. It comprises a series of eco-driving behaviours which utilises advances in technology  (In-cab and hand-held devices etc) to deliver immediate fuel saving results. It results in benefits for the employer, driver and the environment.

Evidence from Europe, Asia, and North America suggests that eco-driving behaviour that utilises the adoption of technical vehicle improvements , can save fuel and reduce emissions in the range of 5% to 15%. Fuel costs are a significant expense, accounting for about 30% to 40% of the total operating costs. [1]

Eco- driving also contributes to the health and safety culture within an organisation. Drivers develop skills that promote their safety and that of their vehicle, load and other road users[2]

Potential benefits of eco-driving

1 Reduced use of and demand for non- renewable natural resources (petrol/diesel) through reduced fuel consumption by up to 15%. 3. Improved health and safety culture within a company. Enhanced vehicle safety, due to  moderation of vehicle speed, plus better observation and anticipation of the situation ahead.
2. Reduced CO2 emissions and other potentially harmful emissions (through reduced fuel consumption) and ambient noise levels.

4 Improved Productivity and Vehicle utilisation. Reduced maintenance running costs.

Improves the resale value of vehicles.

5 Reduced driver stress levels and enhanced satisfaction of driving. Increased confidence in vehicle control and driving performance. 6 Potential reductions in Insurance Premiums. [3]

Road Freight is the most common means of transporting freight in Ireland. It is a significant component of the supply chain management of companies. Some 150 million tonnes of freight were transported by road in 2018.

HGV Driver training is acknowledged to be one of the most cost-effective means of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the road freight sector. It is important to put in place mechanisms that continuously reinforce eco-driving behaviours to ensure sustained fuel benefits in the long term. These include vehicle feedback systems to assess drivers’ fuel efficiency performance, speed, gear changes, braking profile along with real-time advice while driving.[4]

Improved driver performance from the programme can result in potential economic benefits as follows:

Annual Fuel Cost Savings for Employers

Average annual fuel cost per Fleet Vehicle Ireland = €32,250 [5]

·      Cost savings Per Fleet Vehicle from 10% fuel usage reduction= €3,250

·      Cost savings Per 8 vehicle fleet from 10% fuel usage saving = €26,000

 

Annual Maintenance cost savings for employers

Average annual maintenance cost per Fleet Vehicle Ireland = €7,500

·       Cost savings Per Fleet Vehicle from 10% maintenance cost reduction = €750

·       Cost savings Per 8 Vehicle fleet from 10% maintenance cost reduction = €6,000

 

Total Potential Annual Fuel and Maintenance Savings for employers

·       Cost savings Per Fleet Vehicle = €4,000

·       Cost savings Per 8 Vehicle Fleet = €32,000

·       Per 300 HGV Drivers undertaking SMART Driving Programme = €1,200,000

Potential Reductions in CO2 emissions will contribute towards the Government Climate Change objectives.

Potential Annual CO2 Emissions Reductions from Smart-Driving Training[6]

·  Per Fleet Vehicle from 10% fuel usage reduction = 10 tons

·  Per 8 Vehicle fleet from 10% fuel usage reduction = 80 tons

·  Per 300 HGV Drivers SMART Driving Programme= 3,000 tons

There will also be commensurate improvements in local air quality from reduced micro-particles and nitrogen oxides.

SMART Driving can contribute to the health and safety culture within an organisation.[7] HGV Drivers can develop skills that promote their safety and that of their vehicle, load and other road users[8]. The eco-driving style (moderating speed, driving smoothly, better observation and anticipation of the situation ahead and traffic flow) is highly correlated with the driving style promoted to reduce accident risk. There is UK evidence of road safety benefits arising from efficient driving (e.g. training for efficient driving for employee drivers reported to correlate with reductions in subsequent accidents rates of between 14% and 35%).[9]

Dedicated Websites with promotion and training resources (such as the SMART DRIVING website being developed for this programme), for Haulage operators and HGV drivers are also valuable.

Small-sized Fleet Operators can potentially benefit most from the programme in terms of the economic benefits to them of driver upskilling on their profitability. An awareness raising campaign highlighting these benefits could usefully be directed at such employers.

[1] Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Freight Movement through Eco-Driving Programs for Heavy-Duty Trucks, National Center for Sustainable Transportation, Center for Environmental Research and Technology University of California. 2015.

https://merritt.cdlib.org/d/ark:%252F13030%252Fm54b5rqg/1/producer%252FNCST201506.pdf

[2] Eco-driving for HGVs -Final Report, UK Department Transport, December 2016https://www.fors-online.org.uk/cms/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Eco-driving-for-HGVs.pdf

[3] The Steering group are to approach underwriters looking for support for those under 25 years undertaking the programme from the insurance sector.

[4]  An assessment of the potential for demand-side fuel savings in the Heavy Goods Vehicle sector. The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, UK, 2015. http://www.csrf.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/CUED-C-SRF_TR_108-Greening.pdf

[5] Source: Derived from Data within Managers Guide to Freight Distribution Costs 2019, Freight Transport Association.

[6] Source: Utilising Road Haulage Operator data for driver’s mileage, fuel usage and CO2 emissions, February 2020.

[7] https://www.cieca.eu/sites/default/files/documents/projects_and_studies/ECOWILL_FINAL_REPORT.pdf

[8] Eco-driving for HGVs -Final Report, UK Department Transport, December 2016https://www.fors-online.org.uk/cms/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Eco-driving-for-HGVs.pdf

[9] Efficient Driving- A rapid evidence assessment for the Department of Transport, UK, 2016.https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/509972/efficient-driving-rapid-evidence-assessment.pdf

Testimonials

Fantastic programme, excellent benefits to our staff and company. Highly recommend engaging with your ETB.

Joe Bloggs

X Company

Fantastic programme, excellent benefits to our staff and company. Highly recommend engaging with your ETB.

Joe Bloggs

X Company

Fantastic programme, excellent benefits to our staff and company. Highly recommend engaging with your ETB.

Joe Bloggs

X Company

What Are The Benefits?

Drivers

The SMART Driving programme will increase your level of professionalism and make you a bigger asset to your employer.
HGV drivers who enrol in the SMART Driving programme will get:

  • Increased levels of professionalism
  • Increased levels of employability
  • Developed skills for promoting vehicle, driver, and load safety
  • Increased confidence in vehicle control and driving performance
  • Enhanced satisfaction of driving
  • Reduced driver stress

Employers

Employers who enrol their HGV drivers in the SMART Driving programme will benefit from immediate and positive impacts on your business.

These include:

  • Reduced fuel consumption
  • Reduced operational costs
  • Reduced fuel emissions
  • Improved profit margins
  • The increased resale value of your fleet
  • Developed organisational health and safety culture

Let it Roll

EU Commission: Improvements in the aerodynamics of vehicles could save “approximately €5,000 per year in fuel costs for a typical long-distance lorry covering 100,000km”

Training Locations

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Training Locations

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Training Locations

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Training Locations

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