Chris Cotton has got his dream job.After a career in which he spent many years driving DAF trucks for Shropshire companies, he is now the Dedicated Driver Trainer for Greenhous Commercials in Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton.
Chris started out from school as a YTS vehicle technician and after a short period working for Aga Rayburn he found his way into the world of truck driving, initially through the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI), an organisation that runs recreational establishments and sells goods to servicemen and their families at Yeovilton in Somerset.
Chris recalls: “I spent around 20 years driving mostly DAF trucks and covered over 2 million kilometres! I worked for haulage and quarrying companies. In May 2017 an opportunity came up to join Greenhous Commercials and I jumped at the chance.
“I looked forward to a new challenge and meeting new people on a daily basis.It is also a clean job being a driver trainer!I represent Greenhous and help to impart knowledge to all of the drivers of businesses who ask for assistance in the handover of their new vehicles.”
Chris engaged on a Vehicle Handover Specialist course through DAF which involved on-line learning, classroom training and practical sessions, giving him the knowledge, experience and confidence to be able to work with drivers at a handover. Chris explains: “When I give training to the driver I am not there to teach them how to drive, but I am there to show them the best way to get the most efficient use of the vehicle.Many drivers are taking on a new DAF for the first time and are coming out of older vehicles that do not have the latest technological innovations that DAF are continually introducing. The driver appreciates being shown the ropes by another driver.Banter is easy and they relax and appreciate being given instruction on how to get, for example, the best fuel efficiency out of the truck.
“Being a Dedicated Driver Trainer has benefits and I have had the opportunity to go to the testing track at an Oxford airfield where the DAF Advanced Emergency Braking System and Forward Collision warning on new DAF trucks were being tested and filmed in preparation for a DAF video aid. I am also going to a dis-used quarry in Wales for some tipper training. All of the Dedicated Driver Trainers come together and we discuss issues and how to overcome them.We will also help out by carrying out the handovers for other DAF franchises for deliveries out of their areas.”
Chris clearly loves his job and the feedback from Greenhous Commercials customers about his calm and informed manner with the drivers shows that he has chosen the right career path for him.