An approved used Iveco Stralis Active Space heavy truck has set sail from the UK today, bound for the Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam, where it will take on a vital professional driver training role commencing in January 2012.
The 6×2 480 hp tractor unit has been donated by Iveco to industry development charity Transaid, which is working in partnership with the National Institute of Transport (NIT) to address the shortage of skilled commercial vehicle drivers. The initiative is being supported by a consortium of European transport and logistics companies, including Iveco. Shipping was generously funded by Cardinal Maritime and Eukor.
Nigel Emms, Press and Public Relations Director at Iveco, says: "There is a massive shortage of skilled heavy goods vehicle drivers in sub-Saharan Africa and very little quality training available. Transaid’s work with the NIT is already making huge strides in training bus drivers; we hope the arrival of the Stralis will help to provide the resources for truck drivers to benefit in the same way.
"The provision of a vehicle with an automated EuroTronic gearbox will also ensure drivers are trained using the latest driveline technology, which is now becoming a familiar sight on the roads of Tanzania."
Gary Forster, Chief Executive of Transaid, explains: "This truck will join an existing Iveco tractor unit which has just been donated by The World Bank and allows us to add much-needed capacity to this unique training facility in Tanzania. The two Ivecos will enable the NIT to train drivers to the standards required to operate heavy trucks safely.
"At the moment there is a huge demand for truck driver training in Tanzania, particularly amongst drivers who want to improve their skills and who want to drive more safely. There’s no doubt about it that these two vehicles will help to save lives through better road user education.
"Initially the Stralis will be used for training driver trainers, with a target of six to ten trainers within the first quarter of next year. In the 12 months which follow, we hope as many as 1,000 drivers will spend valuable time behind the wheel of the Stralis," adds Forster.
Between January and March 2011 over 6,000 road crashes were recorded in Tanzania, with 11 per cent proving fatal and claiming the lives of 829 people.
Lack of training is one of the main causes of dangerous driving on Tanzanian roads, alongside drivers working extremely long hours, operating badly maintained and overloaded vehicles, utilising a poor road infrastructure and weak traffic enforcement. Transaid is working to address these challenges by improving professional driver training standards and collaborating with key transport organisations and government bodies.
Iveco is further supporting the donation of this latest vehicle by helping to support its maintenance at a local level via its dealership in Dar Es Salaam.