Rigid Trucks Redundant

THE UK government’s decision to scrap HGV ‘C’ class training and licensing and push test candidates straight to ‘C+E’ in an endeavor to create an ‘instant’ supply of artic drivers to ease the current massive shortage, has had its repercussions in the driver training industry.
Glasgow based Ritchies Training Centre has had to lay up eight rigid trucks because the noticeably increased demand is for training in artic rigs and this in turn has caused a shortage in 40ft semi-trailers which are deemed to be the best length for training, although newly qualified drivers will start pulling 45ft semis.
Walter Ritchie, a past RHA Scotland chairman, is unimpressed with the government’s thinking. “We’re set up for training in 40ft trailers, now we will have to extend the bays in our training area for 45’s, but the bigger issue is who will be responsible for the ‘third party’ testing of the reversing and coupling procedures which have now been taken out of the test?
“And another concern has arisen; will hauliers hire new drivers who have gone straight to C+E and even more importantly, when will they ever get insured?“ asked Walter.

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