Winter Driving Preparations: How to Prevent Casualties From Happening

Long-haul driving is one of the risks drivers voluntarily take and consider when getting into the trucking industry. 

Driving from one end of the country to another might sound like an exciting idea for a family road trip, but for a truck driver transporting tons of perishables, materials, or liquids? One small mistake or accident can result in a disaster on the road and the economy. 

And as the weather gets colder and the days shorter, long-haul driving becomes more hazardous than ever. With winter creeping in, truck drivers should take extra precautions on the road, as snow and frozen roads can hamper their journey. 

However, winter conditions are just one of the many things a truck driver has to be mindful of while driving. 

With the holiday season coming up, there is also an increased risk of distracted and impaired driving among motorists. 

And while we’d like to trust that fellow motorists are also driving responsibly, it is better to refresh and remind ourselves of the different types of distracted and impaired driving that we should look out for as we head into colder and longer nights on the road.

Common Types of Distracted Driving

Next to speeding, distracted driving is one of the leading contributing causes of car accidents and crashes in Edmonton. According to Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act, whether or not your driving performance is affected, the law considers the following as distracted driving. 

Using Hand-Held Cell Phones

With the advancement of technology, most, if not all, people heavily rely on their mobile devices and cell-phones.

It might seem harmless to check or send a text message or an email while in transit, but if you are speeding 100km/h on the highway and hauling tons of goods on your truck, you might want to reconsider checking that notification for the safety of other motorists and your own.  

Operating Electronic Devices

If using a hand-held cell phone is a form of distracted driving, it goes without saying that using other electronic devices, such as:

  • Laptops
  • Cameras
  • Video games
  • Video entertainment displays
  • Portable audio players

While driving is also considered distracted driving.

a person checking the route through the car's GPS unit

Inputting Information on GPS Units

These days people rely on their GPS unit more than the printed map, whether they use an app on their mobile device or their vehicle’s system.

Even though a GPS is a necessary tool to go from one place to another, the law considers inputting information on a GPS unit while driving a form of distracted driving.

Reading Printed Materials

Reading a map or any printed material while driving a vehicle is also a type of distracted driving.

Personal Grooming

Some people have adopted the habit of brushing or flossing teeth, clipping nails, shaving, putting on makeup, and even curling hair while driving.

While some may consider personal grooming in the car a time-saver, the law states personal grooming is a form of distracted driving.

Penalty for Distracted Driving

The penalty for distracted driving is a $300 fine and three (3) demerit points. 

However, there are some activities that the law does not consider a type of distracted driving, such as:

  • Calling emergency services with a hand-held mobile device
  • Activating a mobile device and an earphone by voice or a single-touch
  • Drinking non-alcoholic beverages and eating a snack
  • Smoking
  • Talking with passengers
  • Listening to an audio player that was set up before driving
  • Using a hand-held or two-way radio for emergencies or when required by an employer
  • Using a display screen of GPS navigation, collision avoidance, passenger dispatch, vehicle information, logistical tracking system, and alcohol ignition interlock device

But even though doing these activities while driving will not charge you for distracted driving, it is highly encouraged that you keep your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel the entire time.

Common Contributing Causes of Impaired Driving

With the change of weather and the upcoming festivities, we can expect cases and accidents caused by impaired driving to spike up. 

The following are some of the common contributing causes of impaired driving:


Alcohol is one of the leading contributing causes of impaired driving

According to 2016 statistics, alcohol-impaired driving injured 5,494 people and killed 368 people over five years in Alberta alone. And in 2019, statistics show that the rate of alcohol-impaired driving rose by 15% in Canada.

While Canada has a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, it does not mean that a person’s driving performance will not be affected if they have a BAC of 0.08% and below.

For example, a person with a BAC of 0.02% can experience the following:

  • Relaxation
  • Shift in mood
  • Some loss of judgment

These can affect a person’s ability to pay attention to the road and react in a timely manner while driving.

According to studies, the higher the driver’s BAC range is, the higher the fatality risk increases. For example, a driver with a BAC:

  • 0.02% to 0.05% will have a 3x higher fatality risk 
  • 0.05% to 0.08% will have a 6x higher fatality risk
  • 0.08% to 0.10% will have an 11x higher fatality risk


Since the legalization of cannabis, 2019 statistics show that the rate of cannabis-impaired driving increased by 43% compared to the previous year.

It is illegal for a person to drive after inhaling or consuming cannabis because it is difficult to pinpoint when the effects of cannabis start. Just like alcohol, cannabis can impair a person’s:

  • Judgment
  • Coordination
  • Reaction time
  • Balance

Additionally, a person who consumes alcohol and cannabis will have different effects and a higher fatality risk while driving.


Whether prescribed or bought over the counter, medical cannabis and other medical drugs can cause impaired-driving accidents.

Aside from cannabis, some types of drugs, such as:

  • Anti-depressants
  • Sleep medicine
  • Cough medicine
  • Antihistamine
  • Decongestants
  • Narcotic pain pills
  • Tranquilizers

Can affect a person’s:

  • Judgment
  • Reaction time
  • Alertness
  • Coordination
  • Attention
  • Comprehension

a blue rest area signage


According to research, driver fatigue is behind 20% of fatal collisions in Canada. It also shows that being awake for 17 to 19 hours is the same as having 0.05 blood alcohol content. With this, we can say that when a tired person is behind the wheel, they share the same risks as a drunk driver behind the wheel.

Penalty for Impaired Driving

The penalty for impaired driving ranges from $300 to a $2,000 fine and immediate license suspension, depending on the offense and roadside sanction. A driver can also be criminally charged and placed behind bars, depending on the circumstances of the offense.

a driver with his hand on the wheel while driving

Winter Driving Tips and Preparation

When it comes to driving, there is not much you can do for fellow motorists on the road but to be responsible for your condition and vehicle. And with the expected winter conditions and surge of the holiday crowd, drivers should be extra cautious at this time of the year.

Here are some tips to help prevent distracted and impaired driving casualties from happening:

  • Get the right amount of sleep the night before
  • Plan your drive by setting up your GPS unit and audio player before driving out
  • Put away your phone and other electronic devices
  • If there is an emergency, stop at the nearest rest area
  • Keep your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel as much as possible
  • Avoid engaging in heated conversations with passengers
  • Assign a designated driver if you are expecting to get drunk or high
  • Share the drive with passengers
  • Pull-over in the nearest rest area if you catch yourself falling asleep

However, if you are an aspiring truck driver, you should know that you will bear more responsibilities than a non-commercial vehicle driver. To be a licensed truck driver, you must have the proper education and training before you head out on the road.

Edmonton’s Premier Commercial Truck Driving School

a white Gennaro truck driving down the street

At Gennaro Transport Training, we have all the courses you need to jumpstart your trucking career. And if you are a seasoned truck driver, we also have refresher courses such as our Air Brake Refresher Course and Professional Driver Improvement Course (PDIC) that can equip you to drive in any season.

Contact us today to find out how you can start and further enrich your trucking career.

The Tech That’ll Change The Trucking Industry Forever

We already know that trucks are vital to the economy. Products get shipped all over the country via these massive vehicles, and without them, well, life as we know it would be very different. From the phone in your pocket to the food on your plate, it all comes via truck at some point in its journey to you.

But what happens in this journey is not just simple grinding of gears and turning of wheels. Instead, it’s a complex ballet of technology, with various systems working in harmony (or not) to get the job done.

Freezer trucks are used to keep meat and other perishables cool, while dry freight trucks are used for non-refrigerated items. Tanker trucks carry liquids like gasoline and milk, while flatbeds haul lumber and other construction materials. And each one of these trucks has its own set of specialized equipment to make sure the load is secured and safe.

Truth is, we created technology with the sole purpose of overcoming challenges. It’s exactly because of this that our trucking industry continues to evolve.And these tech advances are only getting more sophisticated and integrated as time goes on.  

If we wanted faster trucks, we could make that happen. 

Trucks that could drive cross-country nonstop? We could probably do that too. 

But at the end of the day, it’s not about making things faster or easier. It’s about making things better. And that’s exactly what these new technologies are doing: Changing the trucking industry forever.

The Internet of Trucks

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You know about the Internet of Things–a concept of connecting physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity—that enables these objects to collect and exchange data. 

In other words, it’s a way to connect pretty much anything and everything to the internet. But what you may not know is that this concept is already being applied to the trucking industry in a big way.

There are already a number of IoT applications being used in the trucking industry today, from GPS tracking and fleet management to driver safety and maintenance. 

But this is only the beginning. 

Data is an important aspect of the trucking industry, and the IoT provides a way to collect vast amounts of data that can be used to improve efficiency and safety. For example, by tracking the location and speed of trucks, companies can optimize routes to save on fuel costs. Or by monitoring tire pressure and engine temperature, they can prevent breakdowns before they happen. 

The 21st annual study from Third-Party Logistics (3PL) found that 98% of third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and 93% of shippers believed data-driven decision-making was important to the future of supply chain activities

In 2022, the 26th edition of 3PL’s study showed that shippers were now investing in Internet of Things technology to:

  • Improve workforce productivity (63%), 
  • Improve real-time decision-making (57%),
  • Create a competitive differentiator in the market (57%)

“Internet of Things technology also improves connectivity while driving digitization, mobile computing, analytics and cloud-based technology, changing how shippers and logistics providers conduct their operations,” read the document.

Some of the most frequently-cited technologies included control tower visibility, transportation management-scheduling, transportation management-planning, cloud-based solutions, and transportation sourcing. 

AI and Trucking

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Just as the Internet of Things is changing the way trucking companies collect and use data, artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way they make decisions. 

AI is being used in a number of different ways in the trucking industry, from route planning and fleet management to driver safety and maintenance. Most of these applications are still in the early stages, but they have the potential to evolve rapidly over the next decade.

Tesla is one company that is working on using AI for trucking. The Semi, Tesla’s autonomous electric truck, features an autopilot system that is similar to the one found in Tesla’s cars. The truck also has a number of other features that are designed to make it safer and more efficient.

“Enhanced Autopilot helps avoid collisions, a centered driver position provides maximum visibility and control, and a low center of gravity offers rollover protection,” read their website.

According to research firm MarketsandMarkets, the market for AI in the transportation industry would grow at a compound annual growth rate of almost 18% between 2017 and 2030, increasing in size from a measly $1.2 billion in 2017 to $10.3 billion in 2030.

In terms of fuel cost, self-driving truck tech company Plus.Ai said that the decrease would be at least 15%

What does this mean for someone who is, say, thinking about a career in trucking?

Well, for starters, it means that the job is going to be a lot more interesting. And it also means that there will be a greater need for skilled workers who can operate and maintain these complex systems. 

Hybrid Trucks

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Technology isn’t just about fancy new gadgets and gizmos. Sometimes, it’s about taking something that already exists and making it better. That’s what hybrid trucks are all about.

A hybrid truck is a truck that uses two or more different power sources to move. The most common type of hybrid truck is a diesel-electric hybrid, which uses a diesel engine to power an electric motor. Other types of hybrid trucks include gasoline-electric hybrids, fuel cell hybrids, and natural gas-electric hybrids.

Hybrid trucks are more efficient than traditional trucks because they use less fuel. They also produce fewer emissions, which is good for the environment. And because they use less fuel, hybrid trucks save money over time.

There are a few different ways that hybrid trucks can be used:

  1. The Series Hybrid. The most common way is to use the diesel engine to power the electric motor, which then powers the truck. 
  2. The Parallel Hybrid. Another way is to use the electric motor to supplement the diesel engine.
  3. The Hybrid Electric Vehicle or HEV. The third way is to use the electric motor to power the truck and the diesel engine to recharge the batteries. 

These vehicles are becoming more common as battery technology improves. In fact, many major truck manufacturers, including Volvo, Freightliner, and Kenworth, now offer this. A recent study by Fact.MR showed that the global market for HEVs is likely to spike at 14% of its compound annual growth rate by the end of the 2021-2031 forecast period. 

The study attributes this to the “growing focus on reducing carbon emissions along with the stringent government regulations regarding vehicle emissions.”

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How Does This Affect Jobs in Trucking?

Changes of this magnitude can sometimes be scary, but they can also present new opportunities.

Whether you’re already part of this proud profession or you’re thinking about a career in trucking, it’s important to remember this: the trucking industry is evolving, and that’s good news for everyone involved. 

Here are just a few of the ways that these changes might affect jobs in trucking:

  1. Greater need for skilled workers who can operate and maintain these complex systems

The job is going to be a lot more interesting. You won’t just be driving; you’ll be part of a team that’s using cutting-edge technology to move the world forward.

  1. Trucking companies will be able to save money on fuel costs

Potentially, this could mean that they will have more money to invest in other areas, such as employee training and development.

  1. Less stress, more job satisfaction

Unpredictable traffic, long hours, and strict deadlines are just some of the challenges that truck drivers face on a daily basis. But as technology advances, these challenges are likely to become less and less common. 

Interested In Trucking? We Can Teach You More!

The future of the industry is looking bright, and we want you to be a part of it. If you’re interested in learning more about trucking, Gennaro Transport Training offers comprehensive trucker training that can help you get your commercial driver’s license in as little as 4-6 weeks. We offer both online and in-person classes, so you can learn at a pace that’s comfortable for you.

Our vast catalog of resources also includes articles on trucking news, industry trends, and tips for new drivers. 

We’ll also help you prepare for the CDL exam with our study guide and practice tests. Our certified instructors have years of experience and are passionate about teaching. They’ll answer all your questions and help you every step of the way.

If you’re ready to start your trucking career, contact us today. We can’t wait to help you achieve your trucking dreams!

Green Trucking: The Environmental Sustainability in Transportation

When we hear the word “green technology” it’s easy to think of solar panels and electric cars. But did you know that there are advances being made in the trucking industry that are also helping the environment?

Through the years, the trucking industry has made great strides in becoming more efficient. In the early days of trucking, it was not uncommon for a truck to get only five miles per gallon. 

But now, thanks to advances in engine technology and aerodynamics, trucks can get upwards of seven or eight mpg. And some companies are even experimenting with hybrid trucks that use both diesel and electric power.

There is still more that can be done to make trucks more fuel-efficient. And that’s where the concept of “green trucking” comes in. 

Green trucking is all about finding ways to make trucks more environmentally friendly. This includes anything from using alternative fuels to investing in new technologies that make trucks more fuel-efficient.

These initiatives are today’s equivalents of the fuel efficiency advances made in the automotive industry over the last few decades. And just like those earlier innovations, green trucking initiatives are sure to pay off in the long run—both for the environment and for the trucking industry itself.

So what do you need to know about green trucking? Read on to find out!

Transportation-Based GHG Emissions

Climate change is happening right now, and it’s happening all over the world. But to what extent is the trucking activity responsible?

To better understand this, let’s break down what greenhouse gases (GHGs) are and how they relate to Canada’s transportation sector.

Gas is considered a GHG if it absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range, which causes the greenhouse effect. The main GHGs emitted from human activity come from carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and fluorinated gases.

Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide trap heat in the atmosphere and cause the Earth’s average temperature to rise. This is because these gases absorb thermal infrared radiation that would otherwise escape into space. As a result, the Earth’s atmosphere heats up, and climate change occurs.

So how does this relate to trucking? Well, the vast majority of freight in Canada is moved by trucks. In fact, according to Statista, in 2018 alone, the Canadian trucking industry transported 53.6 million domestic shipments and 10 million cross-border shipments. That’s a lot of trucking, and a lot of potential for GHG emissions.This increase also affected the rate of growth in transportation-based GHG emissions.

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(Source: Government of Canada)

Data from the Environment and Climate Change Canada showed that GHG emissions from the transport sector grew by 32% between 1990 and 2020, with most of the growth being linked to an increase in freight trucks and passenger light trucks in the country. 

It was also revealed that the transport sector contributed as the second largest source of GHG emissions by at least 150 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2 eq) emitted—41% of the total GHG emissions in the country.

With this, the Government of Canada has set a target of a 40% to 45% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. Many initiatives and federal plans like A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy were enacted to help achieve this target.

To aid in the government’s noble efforts, the Canadian trucking industry has also pledged to do its part in reducing transportation-based GHG emissions through the advent of green trucking.

Why Companies Are Moving To Green Trucking

There are actually a lot of benefits to going green besides just helping the environment. Many companies are finding that investing in green trucking initiatives can actually save them money in the long run and others are choosing to go green to improve their public image. 

     1. To Save Money

One of the main reasons companies are choosing to switch to greener trucking practices is because it can save them money. This is because fuel is one of the biggest expenses for trucking companies.

REAL QUICK: What is happening to fuel prices in 2022?

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Yes, fuel prices are one of the biggest expenses for trucking companies, and they can fluctuate a lot. In fact, fuel prices have been known to rise and fall by as much as 20 cents per litre in a single day. However, in February 2022, fuel prices began to skyrocket abnormally.

Now, you might be thinking that Russia’s invasion may be the main catalyst for the increase in fuel prices. But the main reason for the sudden rise in fuel prices is actually the sudden increase in demand when pandemic restrictions loosened.

In a CNBC report by Pippa Stevens, it was found that fuel prices were already struggling to keep up with the demand before Russia’s invasion. This is because there wasn’t much need for fuel as the lockdown kept people at home. The article states that “energy producers cut back on investment and less profitable projects under pressure from low prices and institutional shareholders demanding higher returns”.


As fuel prices increase, companies are looking for ways to cut costs. One way they’re doing this is by switching to greener trucking practices. This includes things like using electric trucks, which can be at least 20 percent less expensive and 50 percent more efficient to operate than diesel trucks overall.

     2. To Improve Public Image

In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to be seen as a company that cares about the environment. It shows that you’re willing to invest in environmentally friendly initiatives and that you care about the planet. But like we said earlier, it doesn’t stop there.

In Sweden, Ocean Freight customers enjoy fewer cost on fees and faster delivery times because of an alternative rerouting plan made for the sole purpose of reducing emissions. 

Some companies have also opted to equip drivers with reusable coffee cups for when they go out on long drives and invest in energy-efficient tools like electric forklifts that reduce risks of oil leaks to almost zero percent!

Now, these are just a few examples, but it goes to show that there are plenty of benefits to going green, even in trucking—and there are even more ways to go about it as well!

      3. To Specialize Training

Green trucking initiatives can help improve the quality of training for new drivers. This is because drivers who are trained to operate fuel-efficient vehicles tend to be better at conserving fuel overall. 

Companies like Gennaro also teach students fuel-saving techniques that reduce carbon emissions and even give companies an economic advantage. With better training, new drivers are more likely to conserve fuel and avoid accidents. 

Top Green Trucking Practices

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So, what are some of the ways trucking companies are going green? We’ve compiled a list of some of the initiatives being taken to help make trucking more sustainable.

     1. Carbon Capture Technology

With carbon capture technology, carbon dioxide emissions can be captured and stored before they’re released into the atmosphere. This is a great way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint and make your operations more environmentally friendly.

Right now, Remora is the leading provider of carbon capture technology for the trucking industry. Their system can be retrofitted onto any semi-truck and can reduce emissions by at least 85 percent.

What does Remora’s device do?

The device works as a giant filter that uses carbon scrubbing technology to segregate greenhouse gases directly from the truck’s tailpipe. Dirty exhaust flows into the device and then, clean air comes out from the tailpipe. The CO2 is compressed and stored in onboard tanks.

The device refreshes the filter using truck exhaust heat, which is highly energy efficient and has a minimal impact on vehicle performance. If the tanks fill up before the driver has a chance to offload CO2, the equipment automatically switches off so that the vehicle can keep moving. Drivers can then dump the CO2 by connecting the device to an offload tank with a hose. 

The best part about this technology is that most of the captured carbon is reutilized and sold to concrete manufacturers who use the CO2 to cure concrete! Talk about a win-win!

     2. Route Optimization

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Route optimization is a long-established practice that has been used to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by finding the most efficient route for a truck to take.

There are a few different ways to go about this. One way is to use GPS tracking devices to track the movements of your trucks. This data can then be analyzed to find areas where your drivers are wasting time or fuel.

Another way to optimize your routes is to use route planning software. This software takes into account things like traffic, weather, and road closures to find the best route for your truck.

There are five major constraints when using this software: 

  • Vehicle Type: What kind of truck are you using? Is it a standard semi-truck or is it something like a fuel tanker?
  • Load Type: What are you transporting? Is it hazardous material that needs to be transported in a special way?
  • Driver Availability: When do your drivers need to be back home? Are they going to be available for overtime if necessary? 
  • Delivery Time Window: When does your customer need the goods delivered? 
  • Driving Territory: What is the size of the driving territory? Is it a local delivery or are we talking about cross-country?

All of these factors need to be considered when finding the best route for your truck. With the help of the best algorithms and dedicated drivers, you can be sure that your goods will be delivered on time and without any unnecessary delays.

  1.  Alternative Fuel

Alternative fuel would seem like the most obvious choice for trucking companies who plan to go green but the costs of alternative fuel are also something to greatly consider as well. After all, fuel prices are only a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to operating costs.

So let’s compare some of the most popular alternative fuel choices for trucks.

  • Compressed Natural Gas

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Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is one of the most popular alternatives to diesel because it’s much cheaper and has cleaner burning. In fact, natural gas emits up to 30% fewer greenhouse gases than oil-based fuels like diesel.

According to a January 2022 Alternative Fuels report by the US. Department of Energy, a gallon of CNG would cost an estimated $2.82 while a gallon of diesel would cost an estimated $3.62. The difference in price is significant and would mean big savings for trucking companies who make the switch to CNG.

The main downside to CNG is that it has a shorter range than diesel and it requires special infrastructure for refueling. This means that trucking companies would need to invest in CNG-compatible trucks and build or find CNG fueling stations along their routes.

  • Electric

Electricity is another popular choice for alternative fuel because it’s clean, cheap, and easy to use. Electric trucks have been around for a few years but they’ve only recently become viable for long-haul trucking.

A major plus for electric trucks is that they’re much cheaper to operate than diesel trucks. The cost of charging an electric vehicle, especially a Tesla model, is about $0.25 per kWh on average which is significantly cheaper than the cost of diesel. The price may still vary for electric trucks but it’s still going to be cheaper than diesel in the long run.

Another big plus for electric trucks is that they don’t produce any emissions. This means that trucking companies who switch to electric will no longer have to worry about their impact on the environment. The negative impact of trucking on the environment has been a major concern for many years and electric trucks are the perfect solution.

The range of electric trucks is also increasing as technology improves. The Tesla Semi, for example, has a range of 500 miles on a single charge. This is more than enough for most long-haul trucking routes.

The main downside to electric trucks is the upfront cost. Electric trucks are still more expensive than diesel trucks but the price difference is getting smaller every year. As battery technology improves and economies of scale come into play, the price of electric trucks is expected to drop significantly.

  • Renewable Diesel

Renewable diesel is a rising demand in Canada and is expected to grow by 3.27 billion litres (863.84 million gallons) in renewable diesel production capacity within the next four years.

This was based on a report recently filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network. The report also recorded an estimated 962 million litres of biodiesel and renewable diesel in Canadian consumption last year, up from 892 million litres in 2020.

This tells us that the market for renewable diesel is definitely growing and trucking companies are starting to take notice. But what exactly is renewable diesel and how much will it cost?

Renewable diesel is a type of fuel made from renewable resources like vegetable oils, animal fats, and used cooking oil. It’s chemically similar to regular diesel but it has a higher cetane number which makes it burn cleaner and produce fewer emissions.

The price of renewable diesel varies depending on the market but it’s generally more expensive than regular diesel. The good news is that the price difference is expected to shrink as production increases.

Trucking companies who are looking to switch to an alternative fuel should definitely consider renewable diesel. It’s a clean-burning, environmentally-friendly fuel that’s becoming more and more popular every year.

Yes! Truckers Can Go Green, Too!

Alternative fuel and electric trucks aren’t the only way truckers can go green. In fact, going green has always been about changing one’s lifestyle and work habits.

As we do our part to care for the environment, it’s important to remember that truckers play a big role in sustainability as well. And with initiatives like these, we can make a huge difference!

Contact us to start your eco-friendly trucker training today.



Mandatory Speed Limiters: The Pursuit of Safer Roads

The debate over whether or not to mandate speed limiters on commercial trucks has always been a controversial one. Now, with the US taking another step closer to making them a requirement, some provinces in Canada and the rest of the global trucking industry are watching closely to see what happens.

So, what are speed limiters, and why are they such a hot-button issue? In this post, we’ll give you a brief overview of everything you need to know.

The Basics of Speed Limiters

A speed limiter is a device that’s fitted to a vehicle engine. It regulates the maximum speed at which the engine can operate, regardless of how much pedal the driver presses down. 

In other words, it acts as an invisible hand on the throttle, keeping speeds at a safe level. 

The Pursuit of Safety

Safety—it’s a word that’s on everyone’s mind when it comes to road transportation. For commercial trucks, which are often carrying large loads and traveling at high speeds, the stakes are even higher. That’s why various organizations have been calling for the implementation of speed limiters on trucks for years.

Of course, in two of Canada’s largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec, this isn’t anything new—speed limiters have been mandatory for years. In Ontario, Canada, Bill 41—or the Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Speed Limiting Systems)—was enacted on March 19, 2008, mandating speed limiters for commercial vehicles. 

Bill 41 is an amendment to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act that requires large trucks to have speed limiters installed, and sets the maximum truck operating speed at 105 kilometers per hour (km/h). Backing this crucial ruling are the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA).

In the Province of Quebec, legislation has been passed requiring the usage of truck speed limiters. It also specifies that a vehicle with a speed limiter already installed must be switched on and the maximum permitted speed set at 105 km/h. In Quebec, fines for non-compliance range from $350 to $1,050. In Ontario, the fine is $310.

 Unlike the position taken up by Ontario and Quebec, Alberta remains opposed to speed limiters.

“Forcing trucks to stay below 105 km/h on provincial highways could potentially cause more collisions on roads, while other vehicles travel at higher speeds,” said former Transport Minister Luke Ouellette

“I believe it is safer to have trucks moving at the same speed as other traffic, to reduce the collisions resulting from an increase in lane changing. If there’s a real problem with certain carriers, we can deal with that through roadside enforcement or other measures. So, unless it becomes a North American standard, I really don’t see any reason why our government would force you to put them in your vehicles.” 

Alberta’s speed limits at the moment are as follows:

  • 100 km/h is the maximum speed limit on a provincial highway located outside an urban area.
  • 80 km/h is the maximum speed limit on a provincial highway located inside a corporate limit of a city
  • 80 km/h is the maximum speed limit on a roadway that is located outside an urban area
  • 50 km/h is the maximum speed limit on a roadway that is located within an urban area, unless otherwise posted.

However, a private member’s bill could make Alberta the latest province to tinker with its speed limits. The bill, which was put forth by Spruce Grove-Stony Plain MLA Searle Turton in March, would increase speed limits on all non-urban divided highways to 120 km/h. 

Gordon Lovegrove, associate professor of engineering at the University of British Columbia, found fatal collisions rose by 118 per cent over the last three years, which prompted the government to revert back in some areas. His advice for Alberta? 

“Do this with a lot of forethought and planning,” he said.

“We become a pinball inside a car in a crash. The driver has less reaction time at a higher speed, you’ve got less distance because you’ve gone further at that higher speed before you react,” he added.

On the other hand, some believe that speed limiters could actually make the roads more dangerous. One of the main arguments against mandatory speed limiters is that if trucks move at the same speed, it could create a situation where cars try to pass the trucks and then cut back in, which could lead to accidents. 

Let’s explore the pros and cons of this issue in more depth. 

Arguments For and Against Speed Limiters

There are several arguments for and against mandatory speed limiters. We list some of the main arguments made by opposing sides below. 

Pros of Mandatory Speed Limiters

1) Improved Road Safety

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Speeding is a leading cause of traffic fatalities and injuries. Excessive speeding reduces the amount of time a driver has to react in a dangerous situation in order to avoid a crash, increases vehicle stopping distance, and affects the ability of road safety structures—such as guardrails, impact attenuators, crash cushions, median dividers, and concrete barriers—to safeguard vehicle occupants in a crash.

According to a report by The Independent, nearly 2,000 Canadians are killed each year and another 10,000 seriously injured in collisions involving a heavy truck (one with a gross vehicle weight greater than 12,000 pounds).  

A recent study found trucks with speed limiting devices have a 50% lower crash rate compared to trucks without such devices, further supporting the argument that mandating speed limiters could help improve road safety.

David Bradley, president of the Ontario Trucking Association, agrees with the use of speed limiters, saying these are key in helping keep highways safe.

“The mandatory activation of speed limiters is an effective way for the trucking industry to further contribute to safer highways. This is the right thing to do.”

2) Better Fuel Efficiency

 Trucking companies are always looking for ways to cut costs and improve their bottom line, and one way to do that is by increasing fuel efficiency.

Speed limiters can help to improve fuel efficiency because the truck will be using less fuel to maintain a lower speed. For example, when a truck is traveling at a high speed, it needs to use more fuel in order to maintain that speed. By limiting the truck’s speed, it will use less fuel and will therefore be more efficient.

The potential fuel savings associated with speed limiters is significant and could be as high as $250 million per year for the carrier industry in Canada. Fuel savings is the main driver behind the decision by most carriers to implement speed limiter policies.

 In addition, speed limiters can help to reduce wear and tear on the truck’s engine, which can also lead to increased fuel efficiency. As a result, speed limiters can be a valuable way to increase the fuel efficiency of commercial trucks.

3) Reduced Emissions

 When a truck is traveling at high speeds, the engine has to work harder, which uses more fuel. By capping the speed of the truck, the engine doesn’t have to work as hard, which reduces the amount of fuel that is used and, as a result, the emissions that are produced.

The environmental benefits are equally significant representing a potential reduction of greenhouse gas emissions amounting to 0.6 megatonnes per year. Environmental concerns are probably the main driver behind the decision by some provinces (Quebec and Ontario) to introduce speed limiter regulations.

Cons of Mandatory Speed Limiters

1) More Traffic Congestion

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Some argue that one of the biggest drawbacks to speed limiters is that they can actually lead to increased traffic congestion. 

If all trucks are required to travel at the same speed, it is likely that there will be more trucks on the road at any given time. This could lead to increased traffic congestion and longer wait times for drivers who are stuck behind a slow-moving truck. 

2) Loss Of Productivity

Now here’s one that will likely get the attention of trucking companies: a potential loss in productivity. 

If all trucks are required to travel at the same speed, it is likely that they will take longer to make deliveries. This could lead to a loss in productivity for trucking companies, as well as increased shipping costs. In addition, it is possible that some companies may be forced to reduce the number of trucks on the road in order to compensate for the increased travel time.

3) Unintended Safety Issues

On the highway, vehicles interact more frequently when moving at different speeds, which might result in hazardous driving situations. 

If and when vehicles of any kind can’t reach a safe passing speed, speed limiters could pose safety risks, particularly on two-lane roadways. This could lead to accidents as drivers become frustrated and attempt to pass the trucks in unsafe ways.

Pushing for Change

With strong opposing comments, it’s evident that there is still much debate surrounding the mandate of speed limiters. However, many mandate advocates and officials continue to push for change in an effort to put into effect what they believe will result in improved safety for all motorists. 

So as the debate continues, it’s important to stay informed and make safety a priority when traveling on the roadways. If you have any questions about speed limiters or want to learn more about commercial driving safety, please contact Gennaro Transport Training today. 

We offer a range of courses covering everything about commercial truck driving. Contact us and we’d be happy to help you find the right training solution for your needs.



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