Raising Standards in HGV Driver Training
Shropshire Driver Training Academy raising commercial driving standards. Dulson Training Limited is Shropshire’s only training provider with a DVSA In-house examiner and private driving test centre on site. For over 25 years the family run business has been successfully training individuals and business based customers across a range of classes including HGV LGV Class 1 and 2 trucks, ambulances and horseboxes, PCV/PSV for coaches and buses, also minibus driving. Car and trailer training is very popular and there is the opportunity for drivers to gain or update their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence qualification. Steve Dulson, Managing Director, explains the popularity and success of the site saying: “We have everything you could need for driver training and testing on our private land. Our equipment is new, we have a 20 seater classroom, on site test tracks and, with our own training staff and on site DVSA qualified examiner, we can shorten the time taken for drivers to gain their qualifications which has a two-fold benefit to them. It saves them money and reduces by up to 3 months the time until they can start driving jobs. “Our private test site has the facility for full reversing practice and trainees can get in driving practice before going on to the public roads.” Steve is proud that the fleet of vehicles are very user friendly which helps to gain the confidence of the trainees. He has just taken ownership from Greenhous Commercials of one of the latest DAF CF Euro 6 artic 4x2 tractor units to add to an existing DAF CF artic, two DAF LF 12 tonne trucks and one DAF LF 13 tonne truck. Much of his fleet has been supplied by Greenhous including a Nissan Navara used for trailer towing training. “Greenhous are an ideal partner with excellent, relevant vehicles for training purposes. They stock the parts we need and along with servicing they offer a 24/7 response to our needs which is essential,” says Steve. Steve reveals that feedback from trainee drivers has been very positive about the DAF products used. “They are very user friendly vehicles and it is important to have a relaxed driver behind the wheel”, he reports. “The DAF LF is a small and manoeuvrable vehicle with not too many gadgets. It is an ideal first truck to drive and the transition from driving a car to the LF is seamless for many. “The new Euro 6 DAF CF feels so smooth and quiet. The examiner can stand outside and easily communicate instructions to the driver. The cab space in the artic is excellent, not claustrophobic at all. It is so important to make the environment comfortable for the trainee driver.” Dulson Training Ltd place customer experience at the top of their list of priorities and the facilities at the training centre are certainly impressive. There is a large car park and refreshments are available. The large classroom caters for classes up to 20 in number and lunch can be provided on some courses. The company made a conscious decision to have an automatic fleet of trucks, though they have manual versions available on request. All of the vehicles are washed every day. Steve explained the importance of setting up the Shropshire Driver Training Academy revealing a staggering 45,000 shortage of HGV drivers in the UK. “It is estimated that 5 qualified drivers leave the industry each day”, Steve revealed. “That is why we started the Academy, to encourage over 18’s to get their training. We can offer low rate finance packages and offer an NVQ in Customer Service qualification that can enable the trainee to access student loans to help with the cost of their HGV training. “We also help our new graduates to find work and prepare them for the workplace driving experience. Dulson Training examiners also provide certification of competence for any drivers that can be submitted to insurance companies. Dulson Training are keen to offer ‘taster days’ in the future to encourage people to have a go at driving whatever size of vehicle they like. Dulson are members of the Road Haulage Association who support innovative ideas for encouraging people to become HGV drivers.