Ryder, a leading independent provider of commercial vehicle contract hire, rental, and maintenance services in the UK, has announced that the company’s Driver Training Academy has successfully trained eight police officers from the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) to assist in obtaining their HGV Class 2 Cat C licence.

The officers required a truck licence to bolster the ranks of a special unit within CMPG that operates an HGV ‘supercab’ to identify truck drivers who may be flouting the rules of the road.

Ryder’s Driver Training Academy is an internal function, delivering a high level of professional training to drivers in Ryder’s Dedicated Delivery Solutions team.

The ‘supercab’ is one of three trucks funded by Highways England and loaned to police forces across the country, including CMPG, which is made up of officers from West Midlands Police and Staffordshire Police.

Fitted with wide-angle cameras and a derestricted speed limiter, CMPG uses the plain white cab to patrol the region’s key motorway routes – the M5, M6, M6 Toll, M54, and the Aston Expressway – to capture dangerous driver behaviour.

With only a handful of officers remaining that held an HGV Class 2 licence, CMPG urgently needed a new batch of officers to undergo driver training to boost its pool of HGV-qualified drivers.

Ryder Workshop Supervisor John Woollands heard about CMPG’s HGV driving requirement through a mutual friend and enquired if Ryder’s internal Driver Training Academy could help.

The answer was yes, and Graham Bethell, Ryder’s Driver Training Academy Manager, was appointed to put the officers through their paces.

Craig Kirwan, Motorway Patrol Officer at CMPG, said: “The training was very professional. Graham was excellent in his approach to teaching. He understood we are all police advanced drivers and tailored the training so that we had maximum time on the road in the training truck.”

Graham said the officers were great students to teach and picked things up quickly.

The training took place over four days, with two drivers at a time in the Ryder training cab.

“It’s beneficial having two at a time in the cab because whoever is in the driving seat is concentrating so hard on what they’re doing, they’re not always taking on board what I’m saying about any errors or faults they may have just made; so when they switch over and see their colleague making similar errors, the penny usually drops,” explained Graham.

“We train our drivers to be the best drivers they can be, to handle the truck correctly and drive it to a high standard so that they can provide the efficiencies and value for our customers. And that’s what I delivered for the police officers,” said Graham.

Craig concurred: “The officers and I all have a much better appreciation for truck drivers now because we understand what it takes to drive an HGV to a high standard. The training was spot on.”

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