Pullman’s workshop controller Tony Deus and vehicle technician Mike Reilly volunteered for the role of delivering advanced diagnostics training on Transaid’s trucks to eight motor vehicle lecturers at Zambia’s Industrial Training Centre in the nation’s capital, Lusaka.
Pullman Managing Director Graham Hunter says: "Sharing our technical and diagnostic expertise in commercial vehicles through Transaid in Zambia will save lives, and is the natural progression to the work already underway with driver training. I am very proud of Tony and Mike who took real ownership of this initiative, and I look forward to finding further ways for Pullman to contribute to Transaid’s cause."
Gary Forster, Chief Executive of Transaid explains: "Charities like ours are only as strong as their supporting organisations so we’re delighted to have welcomed a key partner like Pullman Fleet Services on board, and we’re looking forward to broadening our involvement with the firm off the back of this success."
Ordinarily Reilly and Deus form part of a strong team looking after a fleet of more than 1,000 vehicles at two of Pullman’s Commercial Vehicle Workshops in Haydock and Ellesmere Port. In addition to imparting their knowledge on every aspect of the trucks, from batteries and engines to gearboxes and axles, in Zambia, the pair also learned a few things from their trainees.
Reilly says: "In Zambia the instructors are using flexible hydraulic hoses rather than fixed metal pipes to run their hydraulic gearboxes, because they simply haven’t had access to the metal. I’d recommend the experience to anyone else in a heartbeat."
More people than ever are dying on Zambia’s roads, according to the most recent available statistics from the country’s Road Traffic Safety agency, which showed 1,400 fatalities in 2010, up steadily from 1,200 in 2006. In July 2012, a high-profile truck crash killed 11 people in the country, prompting the editorial board of the Times of Zambia to call for better awareness of road safety throughout the country. At the same time the Road Traffic Safety agency has collected evidence suggesting the situation can be measurably improved by training efforts like the one undertaken by Pullman Fleet Services on behalf of Transaid.