10 years ago we started providing driver training. At the time we were running a repair shop in Kampala. We noticed that some of our customers’ vehicles were getting damaged, some severely so, and had an increase in wear and tear due to improper driving/misunderstanding of 4wd vehicles.
We started off by doing some in house training, free of charge, to our customers who noticed results straight away. The word got out. We got requests from other organizations for training and had to think about where to go from there.
We invested time and considerable resources into developing a capacity to be able to carry out what has turned out to be driver training with a difference. Research had told us that driver training in some quarters was getting negative reviews and it was being said that drivers were coming out the other end of the process with poor driving attitudes = poor driving!
When we first started to carry out training as a service industry, if you like, there was resistance to the rates that we set. Even though they were well on a par with similar types of schools in the more developed countries. There was this view that if the service was available in Africa then it should be cheaper!
We went through a struggle period trying to convince organizations of the benefits of our type of training. Small groups, maximum amount of time hands on and the practical side of the training backing up / reinforcing the theory. As in any service industry … “you get what you pay for” …
Saying that, the struggle has never really disappeared and it’s not likely to. It’s more in the background than it used to be.
This is mainly down to organizations who have taken training with us realizing the benefits in relationship to cost; and investing more in a human resource that, in the end, has control over the security of the human asset and, what is possibly, one of the most expensive physical assets, in the third most dangerous working environment globally; the roads.
The message has then been passed onto the other organizations through our best marketing tool. Our customers.
More and more it seems that organizations are realising that the correct type of driver training does reap rewards even though the initial outlay may seem expensive. And what is more they are going on to making this available to their staff as continuance training. Realizing that safe defensive driving is a life and lifetime skill that has to be continually updated to keep training effective.
We have been up on our soap box for the last ten years shouting out that driver training has to be an integral part of any successful fleet management programme and to have a positive effect on global road safety. And we applaud the organisations out there for bringing this message home.
My only hope is that the level of driver training is not compromised. There is no cheap solution to effective driver training. You can’t learn about driving, driving a desk with 30 others in the jam with you!
A big THANK-YOU to all our customers / students, who have stuck with us and passed on our details, over the last ten years.
We would be on the back roads without you.