BANGKOK, Thailand — For Ford’s Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) trainers, even they need training occasionally.
As Ford pushes to go further in delivering more of its award-winning DSFL programme across Asia Pacific and Africa, they held a special ‘Train the Trainer’ (TTT) session in Bangkok for trainers from Thailand and Taiwan. Ford brought in RAC Driving Solutions, one of South Africa’s premier training institutions for newly licenced drivers, to conduct the session.
The TTT programme was last conducted in APA four years ago by a group of trainers from German Road Safety Council (DVR), who dealt with safety and eco-driving in theory and practice. This time, the RAC team from South Africa helped the trainers learn how to present the DSFL tips to participants so as to influence their driving techniques positively.
The programme was hosted at Premier Metrobus so that participating trainers had the opportunity to have both a classroom scenario where they discussed their training programmes with RAC trainers and a large space to try out various driving exercises. Over the course of two days participating drivers received a refresher of Ford’s ten DSFL driving tips, along with new ideas they could incorporate into their own sessions. On the third day, a DSFL session was held for media and Ford employees taking part in the event.
DSFL trainers from Thailand and Taiwan joined together to gain knowledge of how to provide greater depth to the DSFL sessions they lead in their own countries.
“RAC driving solutions focuses on defensive driving as the primary reason to reduce crashes on the road. We combine that with the ‘eco-driving’ component to produce the safer driver. In some instances with our clients we have reduced their crash rate by 50 percent. This translates into savings, better economies of scale, better productivity, and ultimately saving lives,” said Eugene Herbert, one of the visiting RAC trainers.
The RAC trainers showed the Thai and Taiwanese DSFL trainers a range of drills they could implement. The group started out with a basic vehicle control exercise, and then progressed on to more demanding exercises like the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) exercise, where the driver would have to push car brakes as hard as possible, the reaction time test which showed the trainers the importance of maintaining driving and braking distance. and then a demonstration of the six positions of a two-car crash.
“The DSFL trainers are trainers themselves but we’ve upped their standard now. We’ve given them different scenarios to cope with and not only to do their same programme, but we have now given them different aspects to add to their programme. So for them it’s more exciting because now it’s not a normal training day; they can add things they have learned here. This makes it more exciting for the participants that join them,” said Derek Kirkby, RAC Advanced Driver Trainer.
“Train the trainer programme has helped us create a more exciting programme for participants to help them understand the driving techniques more easily, so that we can better share the knowledge with Thai drivers in a more fun and engaging way,” said Chettha Srikanjanapert, a Ford Thailand DSFL trainer.
“The thing I found most helpful in today's session is how to get a trainee's attention within a limited time frame. This is our biggest challenge at the moment. I have really appreciated the opportunity to learn from them," said Cheng-Ta Teng, a Ford Taiwan DSFL trainer.