Heavy Vehicle Training / Instruction

Heavy Vehicle Training / Instruction from Tenni's Heavy Vehicle Driver Training

By: Tenni's Heavy Vehicle Driver Training  03-Nov-2010
Keywords: Education and Training, Driving School, Driving Lessons

Make sure you get what you are paying for...

When choosing who or which company is going to help you gain your licence, you need to take the following into account:

1. Does the person have the relevant qualifications?

2. Does the person training me have the relevant experience?

3. Does the person training me give me their undivided attention or are they taking bookings and handling enquiries while the lesson is in progress?  (This action is against the law).

4. Is the equipment the most up to date, or is it extremely old.

5. Does the person training me take notes on a formal training record?  

6. Is the person or company well respected in the industry?

The above is alot to consider, however the whole industry is and has changed, the way things used to be done in the past is going to be frowned upon, and those that don't take heed will in the future be trying to explain themselves in a court of law.

There has been alot of time and effort put into creating a National Training Framework that all industry adheres to, and Transport Logistics is a very big part of this framework.

Point 1.  Trainers qualifications

Recently I witnessed a truck with "L Plates" on it go past a pedestrian crossing without giving way to pedestrians as the trainee driver was still on the throttle on approach to this site.  

There are so many issues wrong with what I have just described, and it has so much to do with the first lesson and the initial set up of how we begin your training.   When you begin training with us you are paying us for to give you this vital information, on how to avoid this and many other similar situations through professional training.  We could even talk you through everything you need to do, this would be in effective as there is no short cut for the actual experience

In this instance, all the fault did not actually rest with the trainee, after a brief discussion with his so called improvised trainer (who was just another driver from the same company with the appropriate licence), it was discovered that he was not actually training the trainee, rather he was told to just "baby sit" the trainee for the day.

The "trainee" was just getting "experience" before he attempts his licence test that he had booked for himself.  No big deal?... Really?... What is happening is the trainee is just picking up all the bad habits of his co-worker.  Just hope like hell it is not your Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, or friend that is on the pedestrian crossing that these people don't see.

The minimum requirement for our Professional Trainers as well as 10 years of industry experience and Multi-Combination licenced (Certificate 4 in Heavy Vehicle Driving Instruction, Certificate 4 Training and Assessing, Resumes full of industry experience).

Point 2. Trainers experience

If the person training you doesn't have the relevant experience, you are not getting what you pay for.  This can even happen with Heavy Vehicle Driving Schools as the only experience the Driver Trainer has was when they got trained to drive Trucks themselves.  The person has not actually worked in the Transport industry at all.

Be wary of this type of school as they will charge you $5 - $20 less per hour than a quality school.  You are not actually saving much at all, as you are not being taught from a Transport Industry perspective, as there is no short cut for experience.

Our company has been commissioned by some of the largest transport Companies in Australia to conduct driver assessments on their drivers.  It is glaringly obvious to us within the assessment drive that there are "High Risk" practices being demonstrated by drivers trained by trainers or schools that just don't have the relevant transport experience.  

This then gets detailed in the report that goes on the drivers company file, if not rectified by the driver (which normally means the driver gets asked by the employer to go and get some lessons), there is cause for the driver to be stood down.  Now how much has the cost saving in the initial training cost?

Point 3. Trainers attention

This is easy to identify, normally the school or company will only display a mobile number as their principal contact number.  While you are talking to the person on the phone you will hear them giving directions to the student they have in the truck as they proceed down the road.

Or... worse, while you are doing your lesson, your trainer is taking calls or enquiries and not paying attention to what you are doing.  There have been many studies conducted on the use of mobile phones while driving likening this practice to same as driving while under the influence of alcohol... wow what a great advertisement for a Heavy Vehicle Driving School.

Point 4. Equipment

The equipment is just as important as an experienced trainer, if the equipment is out dated, you are doing yourself an injustice.  There have been new advancements in Heavy Vehicle Technology, and if you are not up to speed on the latest standards, this will impact on your ability to complete a pre employment practical drive for your potential employer.  One of the single biggest reasons new drivers get rejected by transport companies is fuel economy.

Bare in mind also that if the Heavy Vehicle you are getting trained in is not capable of doing B-Double work... don't waste your money, this means one of two things.  1. The trainer just doesn't have the experience required to teach at this level, or  2. The company has purchased a cheap truck and are ripping you off for lesson price as they are only $5 - $20 cheaper than a quality company.  All you should be paying for this type of training is around $70 per hour maximum.

Some Heavy Vehicle schools will teach Heavy Combination in equipment that is not really used much any more.  The most common in the industry is a Prime Mover and Tri-axle Trailer, once again if it is not this combination, don't waste your money.  Imagine getting your HC licence in a Truck and Dog Trailer, and then an employer asks you to jump into a Prime Mover and Tri-Axle Trailer and go for a test drive.

Alternatively, if it is a Dog trailer you want experience in, let us train you in a Quad Dog (4 axles), which is fast becoming the industry standard for Heavy Rigid and Dog Trailers (Sand and Gravel hauling - HC Class).  You are seriously wasting money if you don't get the best you can for your dollar.

If you are being taught HC in a dog trailer you need to make sure the trailer has a fairly long draw bar, so you can practice reversing the dog trailer (without the turntable locked) to the left and right of the truck, draw bar completely jack knifed, with the trailer parked parallel to the truck.  This is so you get a feel for how to tip a load from the truck without unhooking the trailer, (for all HC sand and gravel applications, this technique is a must).

If you are not looking for work in Sand and Gravel don't waste your time and money on a vehicle combination that won't help you into the transport industry.  Our Heavy Combination units are the most common Prime Mover and Tri-axle trailer.

Point 5. Training records

Training Records are a mandatory requirement.  So if you are involved in an incident with the Heavy Vehicle you are driving in the future, you can ask that these notes be used in court to prove you have had professional training.  Not only that, you have industry experts in our Professional Trainers (Certificate 4 in Heavy Vehicle Driving Instruction, Certificate 4 Training and Assessing, Resumes full of industry experience) that can and will testify in a court of law that you completed all the competencies to safely drive a Heavy vehicle on the road.

The Company these days that allows drivers to teach other drivers are leaving themselves wide open to litigation, by not following guidelines set down by the AQTF Australian Qualifications Training framework.

Point 6. Trainer or Company Industry reputation

Make sure the people you talk to are in the transport industry to get recommendations in this area.  The opinions of those not in the industry will not give you grounded feedback.

We have all seen or known people or known of people that are well respected in different industries.  It is incredibly important that the person that trains you holds their own with their peers.  There is a default setting within the Transport Industry, and that is the industry does not tolerate fools, these people seldom last within the industry, and often co-workers have plenty to say about how the person, if they do last, is a walking talking hazard.

Our trainers integrate well with transport companies, and in general company drivers have favorable feedback on time spent with them.  Our philosophy is such that we never stop learning and it is always a two way street when it comes to the transfer of knowledge.

Our company has been engaged to do "On Road Driver Audits" "Post Heavy Vehicle Incident Assessments" and "Pre-Employment Assessments" within the Transport Industry with some of Australia's biggest and most well respected companies.

We hope this helps you to make an informed decision... don't waste your hard earned money on anything less than the best in what ever you do.

As always our dedicated staff are ready willing and able to answer your enquiries from an office and not a truck!!! 1300 796 997

Keywords: Driving Instruction, Driving Lessons, Driving School, Education and Training, Heavy Combination, Heavy Rigid, Heavy Vehicles, Hr, Learn to Drive, Mc, Medium Rigid, Multi-Combination

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