Case Study – Smiths Gloucester Ltd
Alan Ball – Transport Manager
“We’re involved in the construction and waste industries. There are several facets to the company, including demolition, so we provide a one-shop, fix-all approach to construction and waste. We run 125 lorries and the drivers that go with them.
We originally started with C&G to enhance the driving qualifications of the drivers that had class 2 licenses, that we wanted to progress into class 1 drivers. We got into contact with C&G and they put our drivers through their class 1 licences and from there we now put drivers through class 2 as well.
Initially we chose C&G for their locality. We like to keep what we do local. They give such a good service, and such an easy service, that we go back to them for further training.
We use C&G for lorry driver training: both licences and CPC. The plant division use C&G as well and in the past we’ve even used C&G for fire extinguisher training, so we go there for a lot of our training needs.
It’s very important to us that our drivers are trained to a high level. It’s not only the fact that the drivers are able to do their job safely and compliantly, it’s also a backstop for us as a company that if things things go wrong, and things do go wrong, we can actually go back to the driver and say to them ‘we’ve put you through training so why are not adhering to the training we’ve put you through?’.
Most of the training has been off the shelf, but the spread of the training has been such that it has covered what we wanted to be covered. It’s very important to us that all our drivers fully understand the driver’s hours and tachograph laws. It’s very very important to us that our drivers undertake a thorough walk around check in the morning of their vehicles, and that’s been part of the training. It’s a bit of a buzz thing at the moment that drivers are aware of vulnerable road users; push bikes, motorcycles and pedestrians, and we undertook that training with C&G as well.
The actual booking of the courses is very very easy. I’m very lazy so I send and email asking them if they have training available, they respond saying ‘yes it is, on this day’ and we book them in. It’s that simple. You just do it over the internet, make a phone call to just confirm everything and off we go.
Speaking to the drivers, the drivers do actually get something out of it and I find if you’re putting people through training, most of the time there’s a bit of an obstacle in that drivers don’t want to go and do training, they feel like they’re being pushed to do training. When they come back and give you positive feedback that they have learned something, that makes it all worthwhile.
The training benefited the business in that the drivers understand compliance, so I don’t have to get people in for disciplinaries because they’re doing what they should be doing. From a managerial point of view it makes it easier and then when things do go wrong, you’ve got a backstop.
In the last 3 years, we’ve put over 100 drivers through training with C&G and each of those drivers has done either 3 or 4 courses with C&G. All have been HGV but from different skillsets, we’ve got skip drivers, dustbin lorry drivers, tipper drivers, artic drivers of different skillets as well, and they all take the training together.
I’d very much recommend C&G, they’re versatile and they’re flexible. We wanted driver training on a saturday, so that the drivers are actually doing their work during the week, so we organised all of our courses for a saturday and C&G were happy to do it. They sorted it out for us and it all went really well.”