The ‘Training Trucks for Transaid’ initiative was officially launched at last night’s FTA Multimodal Awards in Birmingham – a daring cross-continent challenge to source and drive a bulk liquid tanker and a coach from Europe to Africa.
The initiative aims to deliver the vehicles to Transaid’s professional driver training programme in Lusaka, Zambia, and is the brainchild of four senior industry professionals – Multimodal’s Director Robert Jervis, Peter Whitehead – Managing Director of road transport provider PF Whitehead Logistics, Tony Newton – Managing Director of container company Mr Box, and David Kremer – President of toymaker Rubik’s Brand.
The four-strong executive team – which collectively have zero experience behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle – face considerable challenges in the year ahead. Firstly, each must work to earn their respective HGV and PCV licences, before they can drive the vehicles through Europe in Spring 2017.
The tanker and coach will then be shipped to the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, before the team finally drive the vehicles more than 1,200 miles to the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in Zambia – Transaid’s home base in the country.
Gary Forster, Transaid’s Chief Executive, says: “We’re thrilled that this intrepid team has taken on such a demanding challenge on behalf of Transaid. It demonstrates a considerable commitment, as in addition to sourcing the vehicles, funding the transport and earning their UK licences, they will also have to complete a training course at our centre in Tanzania before driving the trucks into Zambia.”
The vehicles will be used by the ITC to offer driver trainers in Zambia access to UK-standard formal driving qualifications. Over the previous 12 months, some 25 driver trainers have finished the centre’s course, and in turn have trained almost 7,000 professional drivers, helping to improve road safety standards in Zambia.
“With these additional vehicles, the ITC will be able to deliver courses to even more students, and bring us closer than ever to our goal of eradicating needless road fatalities. Without the support of the industry we would not be able to reach as many people with our projects, and we call on industry colleagues to get behind the team as they take on this incredible journey,” Forster adds.
As part of the challenge, the team will also undertake additional courses in first aid, basic diesel engine maintenance and vehicle safety, and will also arrange all the logistics, including obtaining visas and the necessary travel documents for the vehicles.
The Training Trucks for Transaid team must source the donated vehicles and fund the shipping costs themselves, and are looking for corporate supporters to bolster their own fundraising efforts.
For more information and to find out how you can support the Training Trucks for Transaid challenge contact Transaid’s team or visit www.transaid.org.
Note to Editor:
Transaid (www.transaid.org) is an international development organisation that aims to improve people’s quality of life in the developing world by making transport more available and affordable. It was founded by Save the Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) and works by sharing skills and knowledge with local people to enable them to put in place and manage efficient transport systems.
Transaid’s core work includes creating transport management systems for the public sector and assisting with the provision of professional driving qualification development and the training of driver trainers. It also assists with teaching preventive vehicle maintenance management and introducing local, low cost transport solutions including its innovative bicycle ambulance. Transaid also helps promote road safety awareness and shares its specialist knowledge with the humanitarian aid sector.
Transaid enjoys strong backing from the transport and logistics industry and the active involvement of its patron, HRH The Princess Royal.
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