Home Fleetwatch 2022 Babcock-DAF Driver Training goes application-specific for safe and efficient operations

Babcock-DAF Driver Training goes application-specific for safe and efficient operations

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Denford Mamvura, commercial driver instructor, Transport Solutions at Babcock – offering personalised training that speaks directly to the customer’s application.
Denford Mamvura, commercial driver instructor, Transport Solutions at Babcock – offering personalised training that speaks directly to the customer’s application.

Despite major advancements in truck OEM safety and performance technologies, poor truck safety records and uneconomical driving styles remain an obstacle to fleet profitability in South Africa. It is because of this that there is an increase in demand for OEM driver training.

So says Denford Mamvura, commercial driver instructor, Transport Solutions at Babcock who adds that Babcock’s DAF Driver Training is an intricate part of the DAF offering targeting fleet safety and performance issues by improving truck driver skills with a personalised, application-specific approach.

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, its features and benefits while on-route training has a Babcock instructor providing in-depth, more personalised training that speaks directly to the customer’s application,” says Mamvura.  

“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,” Mamvura adds. 

Enhancing safety while lowering TCO 

Commenting on the benefits of driver training, Mamvura says 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 and it stands to reason that accidents are less likely to occur when drivers are well trained. “DAF driver training contributes to safety, for example, through the effective use of brakes and retarders. Training can also help make drivers more aware of situations they may encounter while on the road, such as bad weather conditions and other drivers behaving irresponsibly. Our programme helps them understand how to respond to those conditions appropriately,” Mamvura explains.

“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, the training programmes also keep fleet drivers up to date with new truck safety and performance technologies (like obstacle-avoidance sensors, for example). “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. Fuel consumption is not the only determinant in the total cost of ownership. Brake wear is also an important factor and the direct influence of the driver in this is closely monitored by the DPA,” concludes Mamvura.

The number of truck crashes on South Africa’s roads has become a scourge and while the increased number of trucks plying the roads due to the absence of rail is no doubt a contributing factor to this higher crash rate, driver training – or more accurately the lack of driver training – is without doubt also a contributing factor. Driver training is a must across the board and we compliment DAF on the accent it is placing on this offering.

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