eTruck – an innovative approach to learning

The logistics industry is facing an unprecedented change as digitalisation opens up innovative ways to improve workplace experience. From electric trucks and increased cyber security systems to Big data and Artificial Intelligence, new technologies are enabling greater efficiency and, thus, boosted productivity.

Lift truck operator training has traditionally dealt with two main challenges. Firstly, operator training that is not designed with a focus on behavioural change and, secondly, employers that require drivers to attend a full five-day course at significant time and financial expense. To tackle these issues, RTITB introduced eTruck UK in January 2020, a unique digital storytelling tool that aims to increase training effectiveness while reducing training time by as much as two days per course.

RTITB has, over the past 50 years, set industry-leading training standards designed specifically to change behaviours and make measurable improvements to efficiency, risk and safety. In the past, this has included setting training standards for goods vehicle driver licence acquisition training, driver assessment, Driver CPC Periodic Training across a number of sectors including supply chain, freight forwarding and warehousing. As technology develops, so too do the tools available to the sector to ensure that drivers receive the most effective training possible to enable them to react to increasing customer and employer demands.

Telling the right story

“eTruck UK uses digital storytelling to teach operators the reasons behind driver behaviour and why people make bad decisions, alongside the relevant theory,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director for RTITB. “eTruck will make training more interesting and engaging and give drivers the chance to learn at their own pace”. 

eTruck UK is an online system, enabling candidates to complete the theory training on a computer or tablet, in the workplace or at home, before attending practical training and taking their final assessments. For a novice, this can reduce the time taken to complete counterbalance lift truck operator training from five to three days. The innovative training tool, developed by MA Systems in Sweden, provides a new way to cover the theory content for Materials Handling Equipment Operator Training, ensuring that the content is balanced for all candidates by removing any instructor bias towards any topics over others. 

What about employers?

The system is also beneficial for employers as reduced training times help keep downtime and costs to a minimum. Employers training forklift operators are able to save up to two lost days per person per course, with large logistics companies able to claw back thousands of costly training hours every year. eTruck UK also provides reassurances to companies that their operators are safer and better prepared for the workplace. This leaves instructors free to spend less time in the classroom and more time delivering hands-on practical training. Should providers wish, eTruck UK can also be used as part of a five-day course to improve theory learning engagement.

What are the benefits? Through its story-based approach, the system helps employers by delivering core messages in an engaging and accessible way. Research has shown facts delivered via a story are 20 times more likely to be remembered. When presented in this way, candidates learn by following a story that encourages them to think about the effects that their actions and decisions have on others. eTruck tackles decision making under pressure and provides an insight into the wider context of the workplace and where lift truck operations fit in. 

MyRTITB app – a new way of learning

eTruck follows the launch of the MyRTITB TrainingFriend app, which seeks to use digital tools to improve training outcomes. “The development of eTruck is part of RTITB’s mission to inspire a digital, technology-led revolution in lift truck training,” says Laura. The app, which was designed to make training administration and assessment completely paperless for the first time, harnesses current technology to improve both operators testing standards and training compliance.

“These new offerings are not gimmicks – they are robust, future-proof solutions which will be a standard part of all lift truck operator training and testing in future,” says Laura. Operator training has been largely the same for 20 years or more which is why the team at RTITB view it at essential that the sector innovates to improve training effectiveness and boost operator standards and safety.

eTruck UK was made available in January 2020 as part of RTITB Counterbalance Lift Truck Operator training. It is also covered as a core element in all RTITB Lift Truck Instructor training. With eTruck UK, a lifetime license must be purchased for each trainee. This enables operators to return to content when they wish to refresh their knowledge, giving employers, instructors and supervisors opportunities to use eTruck as part of toolbox talks. 

To enable employers to explore the benefits of self-paced learning and digital storytelling further, RTITB is hosting a half-day seminar “Digital learning in training – making it efficient and powerful” on the 27th January at their Head Office in Telford.