Research Papers

An evaluation of a blended simulator-based and in-truck training on the development of backing skills on a semi-trailer for learner truck drivers

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Date added June 17, 2014
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Category 2014 CMRSC XXIV Vancouver
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 2C
Author/Auteur Pierro Hirsch, Bellavance François, Amine Choukou
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation Only (no paper submitted)

2C Hirsch_An Evaluation of a Blended Simulator-Based and In-Truck Training



The performance of truck drivers directly impacts public health through crash risk, with younger and less experienced drivers representing the highest risks. Improvements in the training of truck drivers have great potential safety benefits. Evidence exists of successful transfer of training from driving simulators to real world driving performance in skill and safety. This research compares the results of a traditional in-truck training program with those of a blended approach that alternates truck simulator-based training with in-truck training to accelerate learning so that learners and their teachers have more time and attention within their program to develop the higher order skills needed to prevent crashes.

Method and Results:

The effectiveness of two training methods is compared at a truck driver training school that gives a 16-week program (five weeks of theory plus eleven weeks of in-truck training). The first 12 days of in-truck training focus on developing basic control skills, e.g. shifting and backing. Within this period, three days are allocated to training backing maneuvers on a semi-trailer. For the experimental group of 12 learners, truck simulator training using the Golden Mirror competency-based program will occur each morning followed by in-truck training in the afternoon.

The control group of 12 learners follows the traditional program. A final evaluation of backing skills occurs within a couple days of the end of the 12-day period. For the purposes of this study, a longer, more rigorous and objective evaluation of backing skills was developed.


The addition to a truck driver training curriculum of a competency-based, backing training program on a high-fidelity truck simulator has the potential of accelerating the learning of a basic skill earlier in the program and allowing learners and teachers to devote more hours of course time to the development of safety-oriented skills.

Pierro Hirsch, Bellavance François, Amine Choukou