The ‘Training Trucks for Transaid’ initiative – a daring cross-continent challenge to source and drive a bulk liquid tanker and a coach from Europe to Africa - has been officially launched at the FTA Multimodal Awards.
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: Robert Jervis, Multimodal’s director; Peter Whitehead, MD of road transport provider PF Whitehead Logistics; Tony Newton, MD 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 (pictured), 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,”
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.