Trucking Ahead With Transaid

MAN Truck & Bus UK and Britcom International have got together to support international development charity Transaid and its work in Africa.

A refurbished ERF 4x2 tractor unit and ERF 6x4 rigid truck with a full support package of service spares, have been donated by MAN, and a refurbished Tri Axle Trailer complete with a 40 ft GP Container donated by Britcom.

All the necessary preparatory work required to bring the units up to the highest possible standard was carried out in Britcom’s extensive workshops and bodyshop facility in East Yorkshire.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics one of the world’s leading Ro/Ro carriers serving Southern Africa agreed to ship the consignment free of charge.

Sailing from Southampton , the shipment is due to arrive in Durban on 23 July. The trucks will then be driven to Lusaka Zambia a total journey of some 2235km. The difficult roads and slow border crossings, mean the journey is expected to take at least eight days.

The trucks, trailer and container are the third donation to go out to the Zambia Professional Driver Training Project where Transaid is working with the Industrial Training Centre Trust (ITCT) the only national commercial driver training centre in Zambia. Previously three trucks and two trailers were shipped in Autumn 2008 and a forklift in Winter 2009.

These donations are key to increasing the number of courses available at the centre and the number of students that can be taken on, ensuring they receive a good balance of theory and practical experience – vital for maintaining quality standards. Due to a recent change in Zambian law, ITCT could not train on certain types of vehicle but the arrival of the rigid truck means that all classes of vehicle can now be catered for.

The donation of the container is also of special importance as it will allow trainees to practice driving with a load. Previously, newly licensed drivers could go into a role with no prior experience to find themselves driving a full load of steel (52 tons), which could prove disastrous without the correct training.

To date, almost 1000 drivers have been trained and the ITCT now has 5 driver trainers capable of delivering training to internationally recognized standards. Transaid continues to give input to the centre and is developing a quality assurance scheme to maintain high levels of training, all with continuing help and support from the UK Transport and Logistics industry.

Chris Saunders, Transaid’s Chief Executive said, “We are delighted to receive this latest donation from MAN, Britcom and Wallenius Wilhelmsen. It is of huge value to the project and is helping us raise driver training standards significantly.”

“Thanks to the industry’s support, the Zambian Road Safety Agency has ruled that anyone applying for an HGV license must be trained at the ITCT. This is a great step forwards to making sure that truck drivers have the correct knowledge before heading out on the road unaccompanied. It will help to further reduce the number of road crashes that occur at an alarming rate.”