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Well things just keep getting better. Today we dealt with the rules and regulations regarding weight, load securing, vehicle dimension regulations plus loads more. I learned how to safely load my cargo and secure it and the consequences of getting this wrong. You would not believe how much there is to learn on this subject and we only just skimmed the surface today. We had loads of examples of good loads and bad loads both photo’s and videos a lot of which scared the hell out of me. Lots of stories about spilled loads and why with more funny anecdotes and some really tragic stories that made you realise just how important load security really is. I can actually go to prison for 14 years if I get this shit wrong. To be honest I think 2 days on this subject would not be dull. We also covered bridge strikes, loads that extend beyond the vehicle and health and safety issues whilst loading and unloading. I am now looking at health and safety regulation in a whole new light and will never complain about H & S gone mad again. We also learned the different cargo handling/packaging methods like pallets, crates and trollies etc. Wow so much to learn and remember.
We did our first practical session this afternoon where we went hands on with straps, bars and ropes. I learned how to do a dolly knot which I will probably never use on a truck but what a great and useful knot that is. I was unfortunately taught by one of my class mates who was left handed. The only lady on the course is left handed and was taught by the instructor who was right handed.
In the afternoon break we both decided to have another go and she confused the hell out of me because I was doing it the left handed way and she was doing it right handed. It was funny.
That being said I can now do it either way, but I am currently faster doing it left handed.
The people on the course are a varied mix, from an unemployed gentleman who was sent on it by the job center. An elderly gentleman who has retired but wants to keep his license. There is ex military who need to get some civilian quals to keep their license, experienced old hands and even a couple of Polish lads. On the whole a great bunch and good to learn with and have a laugh with.
Something as simple as not having the load right up against the front of the load bed or packing the gaps can cause this to happen. Scary.
Wow, What a great day. We learned loads of useful stuff such as drivers hours, The European Working Time Directive and other limitations on the hours you can work and drive. This is to ensure that drivers are not driving while tired and to ensure that all transport companies are working on a level playing field.
The afternoon was spent on learning how to use the Analog and Digital tachographs and the rules and regulations surrounding them. As a new entrant into the profession this stuff was valuable and interesting. We also learnt little things like when you can drive without one, what to do if it is lost, stolen, damaged or faulty plus loads more. I may not remember everything I learned but when I come across it in future I will know it exists and will know to look something up. Without this course I could have had £2500 fines etc.
I seriously enjoyed today and the course is now proving to be a worthwhile investment. The instructor made what should be a seriously dull subject lively and interesting. Plenty more anecdotes and stories. Fantastic.
I really do have to eat my words. I was totally wrong in my pre-judgement of this course and it is well worth the £329.00 I spent on it.
I was right and wrong on my predictions. The instructor is not a boring governmental drone who got the job because he knows the bureaucratic jargon and can tick boxes. He has been in the industry since 1976 and made a very dull and boring subject tolerable. Plenty of interesting and fun anecdotes and lots of interaction. Subject matter was as dull as expected.
I start the Drivers Certificate of Professional Competence tomorrow. It is a very early start so I have to be up at 6am. I am expecting a week of government dictated course work that adds no value to the people who have to pay to take the course. However to be an HGV (truck) driver in Europe you now need to take 35 hours of professional training every 5 years to get your dCPC card and without the card you can’t drive anything over 3.5T for a living. I am looking forward to hearing lots of new uses of words like compliance, regulation, statutory and requirement. I also bet that like most government required courses it will be given by someone who hasn’t been in the industry but knows how to tick all the right check boxes when putting a documentation pack together.
I will let you know how it goes.