I spent a fascinating few hours with a medium haulier the other day and he was extoling the virtues of delivering good training for his drivers.

In short, he’s invested in having proper, quality driver training for his staff on the firm’s new trucks. He said the results were amazing, with average fuel consumption up two or even three miles per gallon. That’s saving him a good few thousand pounds a year, per truck. In short, the extra money paid out in the additional training had paid for itself in a reduced fuel bill.

The drivers also benefit – a league table of fuel savings is translated into more money in their paypacket – the best drivers getting as much as an extra 80p an hour which could equate at a couple of grand year on top of their normal pay. And remember, this is just for doing their job better. It’s not overtime or weekend work – it’s all from driving better!

So everyone – and I mean everyone – is a winner. The haulier’s fuel bill goes down, the drivers earn more, there’s less wear on the trucks and better fuel consumption equates to lower exhaust emissions which is good for the public and the nation’s air quality.

He also was a big fan of the Driver’s CPC, but like many in the industry – including just about every road transport journalist – he believes the training standard needs to improve and the courses need to be better structured and duplicate modules eliminated. That was music to my ears. I firmly believe the concept of the DCPC was great, but its implementation and execution has been – in many cases – below standard, to the point it comes across to participants as little more than a demoralising money-making, box-ticking exercise.

I believe there are few, if indeed any, drivers who can’t learn something from additional training. Good training is great for drivers but it’s imperative for the industry. What we need to avoid is good training being too costly. And it shouldn’t be. And we need to avoid poor training that offers nothing but costs money.

But if your gaffer offers you the chance to have some additional training to help you in your job, 99 times out of 100, I’d suggest you take it. Every driver, no matter how experienced, can improve, and every driver can learn something new, regardless of how long they have been on the job.


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