Life-long learning pays

“No matter how experienced a driver you are, specific tips can help you drive better, safer and above all more economically,” says General Manager Herman Smets of Transmet situated in Boutersem, Belgium.

TEXT: ROB SHOEMAKER

Smets is much in favour of life-long learning. Fifteen drivers from his 95 Scania truck fleet have already completed Scania driver training. Transmet leases its trucks via Scania Finance, including the maintenance contract, which means that his fleet is entirely renewed over a five-year period.
“Working with modern technology is great, but you have to learn how to use it at its best,” Smets explains.

Open for driver training

“We do also look at other characteristics,” he continues. “First we select drivers we know will be open to suggestions; people who can pass on the message to their colleagues. You need opinion leaders, because, no disrespect intended, drivers are quite conservative and only take things on board from professionals that they respect.”

The results are clearly positive. The course shows that drivers can complete the same circuit 10 and 15 percent more economically, in practically the same time.

“In everyday practice, for me a fuel saving of 3 to 4 percent is excellent,” Smets says. “Just do the sums. Every month our company fills up 300,000 litres of diesel. A fuel saving of 3 to 4 percent represents 9,000 to 12,000 litres a month – a good enough reason to have our drivers take further training.

“We are already considering a regular follow-up for the drivers’ course, and during our annual Transmet day in April, we are discussing with Scania how to limit the level of manoeuvring damage,” Smets says. “Life-long learning pays for itself.”