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Good drivers not automatic

SKILLED OPERATORS: Good road train drivers should know how to change gears before their upgrades.
SKILLED OPERATORS: Good road train drivers should know how to change gears before their upgrades. Contributed

Whether we consider improvements to fuel economy, comfort, safety features and gearboxes as technology; changes are continuous across vehicle manufacturers driving a change in the skills learnt within industry.

My specific focus is surrounding gearbox training, acknowledging that now some manufacturers only offer automatic transmissions, with special orders required for anything else.

We can all agree, some older trucks are here for many more years to come, some jobs are better suited to manual transmission and some employers continue to prefer manual configuration over automatic, hence for the medium term there will continue to be a need for manual skilled operators.

It is disappointing when we are faced with stories of people gaining their open MC licence through utilising an automatic truck yet never holding a unrestricted licence before.

We have had numerous students attend our courses after being referred by an employer wanting skills developed further; particularly focussed on gearbox use and reserving skills.

We offer training in road-ranger, synco-mesh and automatic gearbox types.

For students to progress to higher level unrestricted licences, ensure skills are demonstrated of the use of road-ranger gearbox.

Better drivers don't just come from being able to change gear; better reversing skills, road-handling techniques and performance driving are just as important; these are all areas covered in our delivery.

What do you think? Is it time for industry to just train automatic boxes or should there be a continuous requirement to acknowledge importance of other skills?

I certainly think we need to continue training the new generation about alternative gearboxes and other important driving principles.

Big Rigs

Topics:  driver training, transport, trucks


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