My driver training career started way back in 1981 after I won a number of Rent-a-Truck in-house Driver of the Year competitions. One of our instructors left the company and I was asked by Neil Wright, the CEO of Rent-a-Truck if I would like to come into driver training. My response was: OK sir, provided that if I find that driver training is not my forte, then I would want out. He said, “It’s a deal” and I was sent off to the I.C.M.T.U. Driver Training College in Luipaardsvlei, Krugersdorp.
The Rent-a-Truck Training Unit was registered with The Department of Manpower. Therefore, companies would qualify for a tax rebate on training costs. As a result, most of the companies that employed drivers would participate in training programs.
Among some of the companies whose drivers I had the privilege to train were Rent-a-Truck, P.G Bison, Timber City, Federated Timbers, Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Spar, Kwikot, County Fair, Shell, S.A. Warehousing Services, Tiger Foods, Table Mountain Plant Hire, U.M.E. Steel (now Mac Steel), Q Transport, and Woolworth, etc.
The 1983 Rent-a-Truck Driver of the Year Team was highly motivated, keen, and an unforgettable pleasure to be a part of. That year 10 of our drivers went through to the elimination rounds of the National Road Safety Council Driver of The Year Competition, with me and four of my teammates going through to the regional finals.
We competed in both the Rigid and the Articulated Heavy Vehicle categories. The Rigid category of the N.R.S.C. DOTY was dominated for six consecutive years by the South African Defence Force who consistently took the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes 4th places. In 1983 we unseated the SADF by taking both the 1st place and 2nd place – with me taking 1st place and my Senior Instructor, Ivor Adams, taking 2nd place.
I remember too well the moment I went up to Ivor to congratulate him. On a real high and with a broad grin, I shook his hand and said to him: Mr. Adams, I beat you fair and square.
He brought quickly me down to earth by calmly saying to me: remember Brian, if your trainee cannot beat you, then you haven’t done your job properly.
His reply has stayed with me until this day and has been the prime motivating factor whenever I take in a new trainee.
I have not found a trainee that cannot learn to drive provided the will is present.
December 1985 I left Rent-a-Truck to start my own driving school. During this time I also had the opportunity to train the drivers of Imperial Truck Rental in the Western Cape. A year later I was selected out of 42 instructors countrywide to start the Heavy and Extra Heavy Vehicle Driver Training Unit for the Operator Training Centre.
At Operator Training Centre I compiled, marketed, and presented the driver training programs. I was also instrumental in getting the Training Unit registered with the Department of Manpower. At this time I was also accredited by the Road Transport Industries Training Board (R.T.I.T.B, now TETA) to train the Heavy and Extra-Heavy Vehicle Professional Drivers in the Western Cape.
Among some of the companies whose drivers and instructors I had the privilege to train under the auspices of the R.T.I.T.B. was: Caltex, Rainbow Chickens, S.F.W. (now Distell), South African Dried Fruit, the Instructors for Ready Mix Concrete, etc.
The wealth of my driver training expertise has culminated in my latest K53 Practical Guide: K53 Driving Test Made Easy – A Practical Guide.
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