The aim of this course is to support professional drivers maximise the use of vehicle technologies. These are a range of advanced tools that assist in managing safety and managing overall vehicle performance. The course will also minimise the use of the vehicle consumables, such as fuel, tyres, brake linings, clutch plates as well as those items that are effected over time by driver style, such as shock absorbers, wheel bearings, anti-roll bar bushings. Poor driver behaviour and poor driver knowledge have a negative impact on the health of the driver and on road safety.
As a professional driver the benefit of understanding the principles of ECO driving is a win-win for you, your employer, other road users and the environment. It is important to understand that this course is for professional drivers who have experience of commercial vehicle driving.
The course is recognised by the Union of International Chauffeurs and Routiers (UICR) as well as the European Professional Drivers Association (EPDA). These organisations recognise four grades of professional driver, novice professional driver (NPD), professional driver (PD), senior professional driver (SPD) and master professional driver (MPD). This course is designed for professional drivers meeting the professional driver grade.
Definition of Eco-Driving
Eco-driving is a specific way of undertaking work using a commercial vehicle, which creates a more beneficial working environment for the professional driver, minimises the cost of vehicle operation, keeps harmful exhaust emissions to a minimum and contributes to a safer roads and workplaces.
A key aspect of Eco-driving is the professional driver’s mind-set, their understanding and experience of the work they are undertaking and the knowledge of the vehicle they are using to do that work. The professional driver’s management team plays a significant role in achieving the objectives of Eco-driving. A clear communications channel between the transport management team and the driver must be managed in order to provide a truly professional road transport service.
To achieve a very high standard of Eco-driving, a professional driver must be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject and demonstrate their ability to keep within performance indicators for the vehicle they are driving and for the work they are doing.
The course material will cover all of the technological aspects of the role and the 12-week driver coaching experience will determine the driver’s professional ability to manage their vehicle to the professional driver standard.
Information provided by the vehicle’s computers are incorporated into this programme. The system gathers data on the rates of acceleration and braking, engine over revving, excessive engine idling and excessive speed. The combined data on the drivers use of cruise control and endurance breaking, the vehicles fuel consumption figures and the type of work being undertaken, deliver a clear understanding of the driver’s style and level of expertise. We are looking at the driver’s ability to manage acceleration, anticipation to traffic and hazards, excessive idling, the use of cruise control technologies, speed management and endurance braking systems.
To support the 12-week coaching programme, drivers will be put into teams. Teams will receive a fortnightly report on team performance and drivers will receive fortnightly reports on their individual performance.
The best performing drivers in the ECO driving role will be nominated for selection to represent Ireland in the World Professional ECO Driver Championships in Croatia in September 2022. Certificates will be issued to all who successfully complete the programme.
The ECO Professional Driver Course is made up of lessons with topics. There are several videos that are to be viewed. At the end of each lesson there are 6 multiple choice questions to be answered. You can not move to the next lesson until you have completed the previous lesson and watched any video contained in the lesson.
To pass the test drivers will have to get 80% of the questions correct.