To help its DAF Trucks customers improve their profitability, Babcock’s Transport Solutions business offers a comprehensive training programme that supports the correct driving methods which are central to safe, efficient and productive transport operations.

Denford Mamvura, Commercial Driver Instructor, Transport Solutions at Babcock, says based on the industry’s understanding that a good driver is key to the company’s bottom line, there is an increased demand in OEM driver training.

While Babcock offers a wide range of driver training programmes, Mamvura says the two major types of training are vehicle familiarisation and on-route training. Vehicle familiarisation entails a general introduction to the DAF product, features and benefits. During on-route training, a Babcock instructor provides in-depth, more personalised training that speaks directly to the customer’s application. 

During this training, drivers also acquire basic knowledge and an understanding of the mechanical aspects of a vehicle. This enables them to do valuable pre, post and on-route checks of the vehicle.  This knowledge enables the driver to do defect reporting and to know if the defect was resolved as required.

Commenting on the benefits of driver training, Mamvura says Babcock’s training programme provides drivers with the knowledge and skills ensure safe and economic transport operations. “Today’s organisations are focused on profitability and the DAF training programme supports the correct driving methods that reduce fuel consumption, maintenance and tyre costs, as well as increased availability of vehicles. These are all major contributors to increased profitability,” he says.

A key focus across industries today is safety. DAF driver training also contributes to safety, for example, through effective usage of brakes and retarders. Accidents are less likely to occur when drivers are well trained. Training can help make drivers more aware of situations they may encounter while on the road, such as bad weather conditions and other drivers behaving irresponsibly. The DAF training programme can help them understand how to respond to those conditions appropriately.

“During the driver training programme, we also point out the dangers of potentially bad driving practices such as driving while taking certain medications, using mobile devices and other dangerous distractions,” adds Mamvura.

As commercial vehicle technology keeps progressing, fleet owners can trust the DAF OEM driver training programmes to keep their drivers up to date with the rapid pace of innovation. In addition, trucks are now installed with sensors to detect obstacles and help the driver to make important decisions. These new tools are critical in today’s driver training programmes.

“A case in point is the DAF Driver Performance Assistant (DPA), an interactive programme to train the driver to achieve the most effective driving style. The DPA acts as a personal coach to guide the driver into making the best use of the cost saving potential of the vehicle. Not only fuel consumption is determinant in the total cost of ownership. Brake wear is also an important factor. The direct influence of the driver in this is closely monitored by the DPA,” concludes Mamvura.