The next generation of drivers

Pentalver Driver Training Academy was founded in 2009 as a solution to the increased demand throughout the container haulage industry for skilled, trained and compliant drivers. A clear but simple business strategy was built: enhance commercial driver skills, improve driver behaviour and reinvest profits into the next generation of drivers.

A complete transformation

Building on almost a decade of supplying high quality, cost-effective training, and following the acquisition of Pentalver by Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) in 2017, the training academy underwent a complete transformation for 2019.

Now known as G&W UK/Europe Region Driver Training Academy, the purpose-built training facility offers the capacity for both internal and external trainees, covering a wide range of driver, safety and first aid courses.

Taking varied expertise and an improved safety focus from parent company G&W, a globally recognised transportation services provider, the academy has ensured that each course offered has a greater impact on improving road safety across the UK.

“One of the difficulties we find is getting driver buy-in, but at the G&W Driver Training Academy, we have found that the trainers and the trainees are committed to demonstrating high levels of safety,” said Richard Gladman, Head of Driving Standards for IAM RoadSmart (IAM). “New technology is improving driver safety, but we cannot be reliant on new technology alone. It is vital that drivers have the right attitude, alongside quality training which improves their awareness and space management skills.”

Not all courses that the training academy offers are aimed at new employees; many companies are utilising the training offered to ensure best-practice across their staff and in turn, reduce incidents and improve efficiency. One such course is Truck Driver Risk Profiling which helps to identify situational, behavioural and poor coping factors which are known to increase a driver’s risk of being involved in a collision.

For companies wishing to improve their safety record and reduce their environmental footprint, the Be Green –Be Safe course offers drivers training in eco driving, fuel consumption reduction, driver fatigue, speed awareness and more.

G&W is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and communities it operates in, which is why it has invested in research to better understand how those in the transportation industry can be more eco-friendly. This knowledge was used to inform the training course which aims to show drivers how to work more efficiently, and ultimately, more environmentally friendly.

“The efforts G&W UK Road operations have made in relation to introducing the IAM RoadSmart advanced driving standard to their team has been excellent,” said Gladman. “The scheme is now being rolled out to the whole of their driving operation and I am confident that the standard will result in an improvement in their safety statistics. My quality assurance checks on the team so far have discovered an excellent understanding of the principles of advanced driving and a commitment to ensure standards are maintained. IAM RoadSmart is excited to be involved in this scheme. Safe sharing of the road space is always going to be a major contribution in reducing KSI statistics and the pro-active approach by G&W UK road operations is a big step forward.”