Volvo says it’s time for better driver training10 June 2010

Inadequate driver training is responsible for a loss of income and human life, according to Volvo Trucks.

The Swedish manufacturer is now rolling out what it describes as an improved programme of driver training throughout Europe – including securing loads. Volvo demonstrates the point by securing a two-tonne heat exchanger on board a truck and simulating travel up a 60° incline. It doesn't move at all.

"Most drivers think that lighter pallets slide more easily, but the only determining factor is the friction between the surfaces," explains Nils Andersson, load securing expert at Volvo Truck.

In Sweden, one or two people die every year and 50 to 60 are injured or maimed by loads falling on them, according to statistics from the Swedish Work Environment Authority. Euro Contrôle Route (ECR), an association of 14 European countries for the inspection of road transport, notes that 25% of all commercial vehicle accidents in Europe are caused by poorly secured loads and, for the same reason, 10,000 loads are lost at huge cost to the haulage companies.

Andersson hopes that Volvo's new training programme will benefit countries such as the Czech Republic, where driver proficiency is relatively low. "We have a major shortage of drivers and many of them are young and lack experience," explains Vladimir Myslik, from Volvo Trucks, Czech Republic.

"The older drivers can also be suspicious, as they think they know it all already, but quickly change when they have done a course. We train both drivers and owners in several stages, everybody gets an introductory course when the vehicle is delivered and a follow-up course a month later."

John Challen

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Volvo Group UK Ltd

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