Darren passes his HGV Class 1 with adaptive controls
We have helped a lot of people gain a new lorry or bus licence using adaptive controls winning an Armed Forces Covenant award. Darren first visited us to look at his options in more detail and we could get a better understanding of any limitations. We are proud to have worked with Darren and helped him to achieve his new licence.
You can read about Darrens experience below.
I first went and had a meeting with Dulson Training in Shropshire to discuss options getting in the cab and what adaptations I would need for driving. The truck already had hand controls (push pull) that could be fitted, the bigger problem for me was getting in the cab as I'm a complete t12 paraplegic.
Dulsons came up with a plan. They fabricated a frame in the cab, that intern could support a block and tackle style winch. I transfered from my day chair onto another normal chair into the sling which was layed out. We then clipped the sling to the winch hook. Then they pulled me up into the cab with the help of their employees. This worked very well as options are very limited in how to achieve this without mayor alterations to the cab and spending a small fortune. Once in the seat its pretty straight forward, push pull hand controls and a steering ball.
I went for the 32 hour course and glad I did as after having 32 hours training I was confident driving the truck and test ready.
I went out for my first drive without a trailer on my first day that went well. The next day we put a trailer on the back of the unit which at first does seem large. with great instructions from my instructor Paul on how to gauge your position using mirrors the confidence grows. After four 4.5 hour training sessions combined of road driving and training for the 3a trailer part of the test I had my 3a trailer test on the fourth day and passed first time. Again my instructor gave me skills and knowledge I needed to pass this test with great confidence. I had to reverse and uncouple and couple back to the trailer safely with a DVSA examiner.
So I then had another four days training on the road and confidence grew day by day. By the time my 3b driving test came round I was still slightly nervous but confident. On my 3a diving test day I made a small error and my breaking was a bit aggressive this was classed as a major and cost me my test. However the rest of my test was very good with only four minors. So soon I was back at the yard I booked a retest for the following week which I'm very happy to say I passed with I couple of minors for hesitation, I was just being more cautious as my harsh breaking in my first test was caused by not having enough patience.
I'm so pleased I passed as I have a 12.6 ton motorhome and I can now go away towing my trailer with my van on and enjoy the world.
It was a pleasure to work with Dulsons and my instructor Paul was brilliant. If it wasn't for Dulsons willing to help me and other disabled people to train and take tests in HGV's my world would be a lot smaller place.