Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Instructors and trainees at a training session. This crash-response vehicle could theoretically be driven by a brand-new "G" license driver. Photo: DriverVerified
Feature/ProfileNewsTrucking

Heavy G training “a quantum leap forward” – Fletcher

Caleb Krahn to provide update at TTSAO conference today

The “Heavy G” training presentation on February 29th serves as possibly the best example of “taking a quantum leap into the future,” says Philip Fletcher of TTSAO.

“We want to encourage everyone in our industry to think about what could be possible if we were to take ‘quantum leaps’ in service, safety and improvement. The new Heavy G training exemplifies that leap perfectly.”

“We picked February 29th, Leap Year, as the date for this year’s conference very intentionally,” Fletcher told Road Warrior News.

Caleb Krahn of Driver Verified will give a full presentation on the new program at the TTSAO conference including updates from students from Ramudden Services, whose team graduated Ontario’s first “Heavy-G” class driver training program last month. Heavy-G training was launched by the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) and Driver Verified in January, 2024.

Caleb Krahn of Driver Verified will present updated information on the Heavy G program at the TTSAO’s annual conference in Brampton today. Photo: Driver Verified

“When TTSAO asked us to work with them as the beta-test site for this program, we leapt at the opportunity,” says Dale Whiteside, head of Traffic Safety at Ramudden Services. “The safety of our drivers is our highest priority, and we saw and felt the lack of a training program above ‘G,’ but not as onerous, time-consuming, or expensive as a ‘D’ license. The new Heavy G program is the clear solution to bridging this gap, and we have been pleased to provide it to our drivers.”

The new program is designed to meet the needs of the thousands of drivers who now drive “Heavy G” trucks, but who have no additional training above their basic G-class license. For example, a G-class driver who takes a job driving a heavy van for a delivery service may be unaware they must perform a daily pre-trip inspection and meet other commercial requirements.

In Ontario, commercial vehicles over 4500kg (such as delivery vans) but under 11000kg can be driven with a basic G license. However, commercial operators find it can be difficult to add G-Class licensed drivers to a commercial auto policy for this class of heavy commercial vehicles.

“Given the explosion of drivers in the delivery industry as well as those hauling trailers as part of their business, it’s been clear for a while that additional training is needed,” says Fletcher, president of TTSAO.

“Although Ontario allows basic G-licensed drivers to drive a van or pull a trailer without moving up to a higher license grade, insurers have been balking at the risk and specifically asked us to create this new training program. All drivers should receive training before taking on the responsibility of operating a commercial vehicle. Driver training leads to safer roads, less injury to people and damage to equipment, and ultimately saves the company money.”

“All commercial drivers are subject to rules and regulations governing the operation of a commercial vehicle, and generally those who have upgraded to commercial licenses have had to do mandatory training and licensing to ensure they’re aware of their responsibilities,” notes Caleb Krahn, president at Driver Verified. “However, commercial drivers including delivery van drivers or those pulling a trailer with only a G-class license are not subject to any additional mandatory training.”

The Heavy G-Class Driver Training Program will be administered by Driver Verified and delivered exclusively at participating TTSAO member schools. It is a 2-day course that can be tailored to the client’s specific type of equipment, comprised of:

  • 2 days of training
  • 8 hours in-class, 8 hours in the yard and on the road
  • Pre-trip inspections
  • Rules of the road
  • Theory of defensive driving
  • Recognition of signs
  • Load securement
  • Backing techniques
  • Transportation of dangerous goods available as an optional add-on

Requirements:

  • Full G-class license or equivalent
  • The consent of employer to use equipment for training if necessary

When the program was launched in January, Patrice Veillette of Intact Canada said, “We are aware of the training gap between the basic G-license and the commercial D license which has existed for a number of years. This new program will assist in narrowing this gap.”

Veillette, Risk Manager for Intact, also noted “The ‘Heavy G’ program can support designing coverage that works for delivery firms and other businesses which have invested in larger vehicles and have new drivers to train.”