Jost Group Eco-driving

Jost Group had its 100th driver of the month participate in the eco-driving training course!

Since this summer, Jost Group has been able to restart the training courses for our drivers, in particular the eco-driving courses!

On 16th September, Jost Group had its 100th driver of the month participate in the eco-driving training course.

We decided to interview Didier Dethier, trainer at Jost Group, to help explain the ins and outs of this training.

[What exactly does this training called eco-driving consist of?]

Eco-driving is a training course that Jost Group provides its drivers to rectify certain points and aspects of their driving that require more monitoring. These aspects can include over-consumption of fuel, aggressive and/or non-optimized driving, lack of anticipation leading to excessive braking, inefficient acceleration and leaving the engine running when the truck is at a standstill, to name a few.

We teach the drivers how to optimize the use their vehicles and reduce fuel consumption, wear and tear of the mechanical parts of their trucks such as the kinematic chain, tyres and brakes.

The training is given while physically accompanying the driver, either on a defined route or during the course of his working day. Many points are covered but the main aspect remains the driver's ability to anticipate!

Thanks to good anticipation, the driver is led to better manage his brakes and therefore his tyres. He will also be more attentive on the road, preventing potential accidents and paying more attention to other road users.

As the trainer is with the driver, he checks his driving habits and his attitude on the road. When the training takes place during his work day, we also analyze his skills and professionalism towards the customer locations to which he delivers, debriefing him on his weak points while reinforcing his strong points.

[Which drivers are taking part in this training?]

Our internal eco-control team, which calculates the consumption of each truck in our fleet and the driving style of each driver, sends us a table for each traffic with colour codes.

When a driver is in the "to improve" category, we look at his two-year history to analyze certain important points such as his accident rate, absenteeism, behavior, etc. If there is a recurrence of incidents, we try to understand what the problem is. It could be a misuse of the blind spot, a distraction or something else.

Any problems are addressed during the training. If the occurrence of this was at the customer's premises, then we follow up with the driver his traffic to notify and explain the points that are lacking in good conduct.

Of course, if the problem with the driver is serious, we immediately summon him and ask for a statement from him about the incident. A full debriefing and analysis are carried out with him and additional training actions are immediately carried out.

It should be noted, however, that any driver can, if he wishes, follow this training without having been summoned. 

An even more complete eco-driving training course, lasting one day, is also given to each driver as part of the Certificate of Professional Aptitude (Code 95) every 5 years.

[Since when have these eco-driving training courses been given?]

The operation has already been up and running since 2014. It was then integrated when the drivers passed their Code 95, which is mandatory. 

Since 2019 we have been coaching all our drivers, throughout the group, whether or not they have taken this training beforehand. Of course, priority is given to drivers who are less experienced in this ecological driving style.

This represents a total of 2,000 drivers who will follow this training for the group. It is given in all European countries where Jost Group has training centers. 

We invest a lot of time and energy in this training. For example, in half a month here in September, we have already trained 100 drivers. We're running around a minimum of 10 drivers per day, 200 per month. 

Each trainer takes an average of 2 drivers per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with training lasting around 3 hours per session. However, if the driver’s schedule does not permit it, we conduct the training while he’s going about his daily routine and there the training can take up to 8 hours. 

This allows them to give this much more complete training, alternating theory and driving periods. It complements the half-day eco training courses.

[What happens after the training course?]

Once the eco-driving has been given, we send the updated list back to our internal eco-control team. They analyze the drivers' behavior for one month to see if they have taken our remarks on board. If this is not the case, the driver is again called in to fine-tune the training.

It is very rare, however, to see the same driver repeatedly.

[Is this training paid for?]

Of course! The driver comes to work like a normal day, so to speak. The training is paid for. We also offer Code 95 courses to our drivers and they are even paid when they follow it.

[Is eco-driving part of a greener transportation dynamic?]

Absolutely! Generally, most people only see the financial aspect...

For them, eco-driving rhymes with lower fuel consumption and therefore economic gain. For a large fleet of vehicles like ours, consumption is a significant variable cost that we can therefore minimize. That’s one of the goals but there's much more to this lower fuel consumption! 

The more important goal for us is on the ecological front! First of all, we generate less polluting greenhouse gas emissions. Secondly, the driver uses his gearbox, brake pads and discs less, thus optimizing the engine speed which also results in less wear and tear, less parts replacement, less purchase and less recycling, resulting in less energy and resource consumption. Add to this a better concentration on our roads that reduces the number of accidents, and everyone wins!

And then we invested in 500 liquefied natural gas vehicles.

This reduces our already substantially-reduced emissions even further!

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