Training company review - Elmet driver training (leeds ish)

Hi all, i remember 4 months ago when i was a bit stressed out, trying to decide who to use for my truck training, knowing it could make a massive difference to my finances if i picked a bad company.

Anyhow, i rang around locally, and lots of places were busy and a bit vague with information. I spoke to Paul (who is elmet driver training), and he is just a few miles from me, so i thought i’d have a go with him, i accepted his offer of a free assessment drive and met up with him.

So i met up with him, seemed a nice bloke, and off i went for my assessment drive and here is the bit where i should add some background info - i spent a couple of years backpacking in australia where i spent some time working on farms and cattle ranches so i’d already logged maybe 4 or 5 hours in old kenworths and international trucks, with unsychronised gearboxes, anything the uk was going to throw at me was going to be easy.
Anyhow, the assessment drive was in a little orange MAN 12 tonner, just like driving a big van with extra gears. He seemed pretty impressed, and said i’d only require 2 days training to pass my C licence, this meant he worked out much cheaper than the quotes i’d been getting elsewhere from companies who wanted me to do a longer training period - i wont say what i paid, because the assessment drive you have, and your circumstances might mean you pay the same as me

So thats what happened, the lessons were good, pauls a nice bloke so it takes your mind off it to have a stress free environmemt in which you can chat crap, the lessons consisted of basically driving the test routes, with paul advising me (and me trying to beat the bad habits out of myself) as i went, and practicing reversing manouvers at an old airfield which is used as a proving grounds for a break pad company near where paul is based. Anyhow, after 2 days, i passed, which was nice. it wasn’t a tidy test, but i have a habit of getting myself worked up into a fuss.

So, it took i think just over a week and a half for my licence to come back, I booked my C+E straight away, this time taking time off work (paul did 8am till 1pm lessons for me then i did a 2pm till 10pm shift at work whilst doing my C licence - i would NOT reccomend you do this) give yourself the afternoon to take it all in, assess yourself and try decide how to focus yourself on the next day. So my C+E consisted of two days training, again, structured very much the same but with coupling and uncoupling. in a rigid merc (which ive since seen noticed other training companies use - probably because the gearbox is essentially a 6 speed gearbox which you can half gears if needed, easy) combined with a drawbar trailer, and it was fine. the training went well, and i again passed 1st time (though i drove awful, unbelievably nervous if thats the standard they want, then i worry, because i’m convinced i should have failed).

Anyhow, there you have it, Paul @ elmet driver training, i fully and completely reccomend him.

A few side notes

  • do your cpc theory test when you do your hazard perception and theory test, might as well get it done at the same time. i had convinced myself you have to do the 35hrs of cpc lessons beford you could do your cpc theory or practical - you dont, the 35 hours has to be done in the 5years after you pass your test. this meant i had to do my cpc theory the day after my C test, so i had to hold onto my licence and not let my examiner send it off, this set me back a few days - no good as i had a job waiting.
    *as above, try do your cpc mod 4 sooner, i should have done mine between my C and C+E but ended up doing it after my C+E, slowing me down further.
    *my tests were in october, yours wont be, your truck will be loaded, this is a good thing. The first day of work after i passed my test, driving up a steep hill, trying to get to grips with a 770000km old volvo gearbox running at 44 ton i honestly thought the thing was broken, it was so slow. Also, it’ll give you more respect and a better idea of what sort of gap in traffic you can push yourself out into, you will be also more aware of braking limitations of trucks, and quite how much you have to control your speed going down a hill, you will learn to read the road much further away than you previously did.
    *the test isnt as bad as you expect, i really worked myself up with nerves as i had a job waiting, the pressure was on, looking back, the tests arent too bad, but at the time they were terrifying.
    *before you start work, make sure you know the law with regards to the hours you can work, they are complicated, if you work for a big company, they will probably plan your journeys out for you, but if you work for a small outfit like i do, you will have to do it yourself, and you will have to be firm with your boss with regards to how many hours you can do, its not his licence, its yours, and it cost you a lot of time and money.
    *once passed, dont be afraid to tell people you are new to it, and dont be afraid to ask other drivers advice, some of the best advice ive had has been whilst waiting 4 hours to tip my load

i should add, i was lucky, i had a job offer from a family friend beforehand. So now i spend my days bringing potatos down from scotland to wherever they need to be, with some occasional other odd bits, like tipper work. i enjoy it, though i’ve barely been home, and have not seen any friends since i started 2 weeks ago. Choose your job carefully if you have a family/social life, luckily for me, i dont, haha. it would be an excellent job for a homeless person, as 5 nights a week, you have a warm bed.

So if you see a light blue volvo fh, with red tanks and chassis, with a big long ginger haired viking looking type driving, pulling a knackered lookimg potato bulker or tipper, thats probably me!

:smiley: :smiley:

Anyhow, there you have it, Paul @ elmet driver training, i fully and completely reccomend him.

Already on the list of schools recommended by members but nice to have another recommendation for them

Thanks for the kind words Nick happy trucking :smiley:

congratulations on the passes buddy , glad you enjoying ur job too :smiley: :smiley:

Good to read a “warts an all” write up with regards to the job. And another good write up for Paul.

Always good to see a newbie with a job.

Take care. Pete :laughing: :laughing: