Caltex very serious about safety

WHILE fuel tankers have been in the media for all the wrong reasons recently, it was surprising to see the sort of training invested into each Caltex truck driver.

Sydney-based Transport Standard Specialist Greg Royston spoke to journalists on Caltex land, at a special training facility at the Qld refinery. He said Caltex had been affiliated with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service for four years.

With 250 of their own drivers in Australia, Caltex takes training seriously.

Starting a driver of the year competition in 2011 was just one way of showing their commitment to safety.

The company's top drivers are selected to compete in a simulated driver emergency response scenario where they can demonstrate their skills and safety training.

Last year's driver of the year Greg Quick from Adelaide, flew to Queensland to give journalists a sneak peek of what he learned.

Greg Quick confers with transport specialist Greg Royston.
Greg Quick confers with transport specialist Greg Royston. Contributed

Mr Quick said the competition took him out of his comfort zone, but was a fantastic learning experience.

He's on the road 12 hours a day and said his training had come into play, as he has been a first responder in many road traumas.

Mr Royston said Caltex's fuel tanker drivers were the most important people in the business, but Caltex also used about 17 contracting companies around the country to deliver fuel.

He's clocked up 21 years in the industry, working with Shell, BP and Cootes at one time.

GREAT KNOWLEDGE: Caltex Driver of the Year Greg Quick.
GREAT KNOWLEDGE: Caltex Driver of the Year Greg Quick.

Training tanker drivers isn't a small task. There's 10 trainers making sure each of the drivers know the latest in safety procedures - from putting out fires to first aid training.

There are some 40 modules that the drivers undertake, including fire extinguisher, on road, and static electricity training.

A fire fighter puts out a simulated tanker fire.
A fire fighter puts out a simulated tanker fire.

Mr Royston said Caltex drivers were very much up there as some of the most highly trained in the industry, and the company also utilised some very good contractors.

They are the only oil company left in Australia that has its own drivers.

"Shell five years ago was the last to get rid of drivers," he said.

There's "no plan" for Caltex to get rid of their fleet. The business model is working well.

Another of the company's commitments was keeping an updated fleet no more than five years old. The majority of the fleet has been purchased from the Volvo group, utilising Volvos, Macks and UD trucks.

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