UD focuses on training, improving skills

UD Trucks remains committed to providing the best possible transport solutions for local businesses. “Trucking forms an integral part of the African economy and the development of the continent’s infrastructure, business and ultimately, its people,” says Gert Swanepoel, acting vice president of UD Trucks Southern Africa.

“UD Trucks has been part of the South African transport landscape since 1962 and will continue to play its part to ensure that the wheels of industry and business continue to rotate effectively and productively.”

Africa’s developing economy drives the demand for competitively priced and efficient transport services.

Trucking is a diversified business activity playing an important role in many economic sectors from agriculture, mining, quarrying, manufacturing, construction, distribution and forestry, to household removals, container cartage, bulk fuel transport and rural bread delivery. In Africa, trucks have to travel long distances, often on poorly maintained roads, to get the job done.

“Although the trucking industry remains one of the most dynamic and rewarding industries, it poses many challenges at the same time,” says Swanepoel. For this reason, UD Trucks focuses a lot of its attention and resources on training and improving the skills levels within the industry.

The UD Trucks Competency Development Centre was established to provide staff, dealers and fleet owners with world class development opportunities through various technical and non-technical training courses. One of the key focus areas is driver training.

“Safety and effective maintenance of trucks has of late become a highly contentious issue, and has in a way tarnished the industry’s image,” says Swanepoel. “Through the UD Competence Development Centre, fleet owners have the opportunity to empower their employees to make knowledgeable decisions about the way they operate their trucks on our roads.”

Since the inception of the programme in 2002, UD Trucks has trained around 120 drivers a year, meaning that the company has added around 1 700 skilled and qualified drivers to the industry. This training is available to all UD fleet owners, or at one of the brand’s 65 dealers situated across southern and eastern Africa, through various train the trainer programmes.

UD Trucks are assembled at its plant in Rosslyn, Gauteng, where employees are constantly trained to ensure the highest levels of safety and quality.

“One of the sure ways to ensure the vitality of the industry is to empower people through learning and skills training opportunities. As a company, it is a privilege to be able to provide these opportunities to our staff and our community,” says Swanepoel.