If you operate a company truck or own a trucking company, you know that fuel prices can be a budget-buster. Luckily, Natural Resources Canada is here to help. With the government’s SmartDriver for Highway Trucking program, you can learn how to use less fuel and reduce trucking costs — for free.
What’s the SDHT?
The SDHT is a training program geared toward business owners, truck drivers, and people who manage fleets of vehicles. Using three different tracks — online, classroom materials, and in-person training — the program teaches you how to use less fuel without hurting your business. The lessons can be applied directly to your company. If you’re planning to buy a new vehicle, check out the information about how to choose a fuel-efficient model. If you already have one or more vehicles on the road, you can learn how to change your driving habits to save fuel. The program also covers topics such as cutting emissions, highway trucking safety, and how to maintain your vehicles to help them last longer.
Understanding the Three SDHT Tracks
Once you register for SDHT, you can choose from three learning tracks.
SDHT Online: If you’re a truck driver or manage a few drivers, this is a great option. Each person can complete the program at their own pace, so it’s ideal for people with complicated schedules. Within SDHT Online, you can choose from three learning streams. The Owner-Operator stream is for people who drive vehicles they own. Fleet Driver is for people who drive for an employer, and Fundamentals is a simple refresher course for any driver.
SDHT Classroom: If you supervise many drivers, this option is an efficient choice. It’s geared toward Master Trainers, who can use the included classroom materials to teach 26 different lessons. In addition to driving techniques, this course discusses how to care for and inspect your trucks.
SDHT On-Road Practicum: Do you want in-person instruction? The On-Road Practicum can help. It pairs you or your truckers with a driving instructor who joins you in the truck for a practical lesson. This program is designed to pair with the other SDHT programs — it helps you gauge your performance before and after training.
Benefits for Small Business Owners
If you own a small business, the main benefit of the SDHT is reduced fuel use. In fact, Natural Resources Canada estimates that the training, along with advanced equipment, can help you save up to 35% on fuel costs. When trucking is a big part of your business, that can add up to serious savings. The program also teaches you how to reduce emissions, which can go a long way toward building green business practices and attracting environmentally conscious customers.
How to Participate in the SDHT
Signing up for SDHT is easy. Creating an account on the Natural Resources Canada website takes just a few minutes — all you need is an email address and some basic information about your company. From there, you can navigate the process online, including ordering classroom materials and scheduling on-road sessions.
If your company does any type of highway trucking, the SDHT is a big help. Best of all, since it’s free, you can sign up quickly and enjoy the benefits with no risk.