Schneider National, a provider of transportation, logistics and intermodal services, recently announced it signed an agreement with Instructional Technologies Inc. (ITI) to provide Pro-Tread Driver Training to its entire fleet. Schneider is the largest truckload carrier to adopt this program. Pro-Tread is ITI’s Internet version of its original Tread-1 (“Trucker Education and Development”) program.
“Pro-Tread gives our drivers more training options, which also means we’re providing a safer, more knowledgeable fleet,” says Don Osterberg, vice president of training and safety for Green Bay, Wis.-based Schneider. “We looked at two primary benefits. First, adopting Pro-Tread means we’re providing more safety-conscious drivers by offering them more frequent training – online. Second, we’re achieving greater productivity because our drivers can defer part or all of their in-house training to online training. They can go through lessons at their own pace, as many times as they wish, from the convenience of their home or cab, 24/7.”
Currently, Schneider has a three-tiered training program, consisting of its trainer-led instruction at Schneider’s operating centers and training academies; simulation-based training; and Pro-Tread safety and regulatory training. According to Laura McMillan, curriculum development manager at Schneider, the company brings drivers in twice a year for “sustainment training.” This past fall, 4,600 Schneider drivers completed a Pro-Tread lesson in lieu of attending a half-day training session. After completing the Pro-Tread lesson, McMillan says that drivers overwhelmingly approved the new training option.
“Schneider is dedicated to providing and maintaining safe working conditions for all our associates, and proactive training is critical for us,” says Osterberg. “We are always seeking smart technologies, and then working to bring them into our fleet. Our commitment to Pro-Tread is a good example of this. We saw its many values, we worked with ITI as a partner to customize the curriculum and to fit it into our safety culture, and now we’ve implemented it.”
“It’s a pleasure for our whole team to work with industry leaders like Schneider, where a focus on safety and excellence runs deeply through their corporate culture,” says E. Bruce Weiss, executive vice president of Vancouver, Wash.-based ITI. “We’re proud that Schneider has chosen Pro-Tread to meet its training and risk management needs.”
James Voorhees, ITI’s chief executive officer, says ITI is delighted to provide this kind of sophisticated Internet-based training for carriers as large and demanding as Schneider. “Just three years ago, data speed and driver access were not yet available widely enough to allow for distributing Tread-1 via the Internet,” says Voorhees. “We have lived through a real communications revolution during the past two years. Drivers carry laptops, high-speed access is everywhere, and in-cab delivery is suddenly possible through providers such as PeopleNet, GeoLogic and DriverTech, and at all IdleAire Truckstop facilities.”
Adds Weiss, “There is no longer any excuse for not being able to train each and every driver on a regular basis — no matter where that driver sleeps at night.”
ITI also is beginning to provide Pro-Tread directly into drivers’ cabs as a result of partnerships with several of the nation’s leading communications and tracking providers.