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Trucking for overseas jobs - Pro Driver Ja offers one, three month courses

Published:Sunday | November 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Learner driver Lewis Savoy at the wheel of a tractor trailer. - Contributed
A tractor trailer with the L indicating that a learner is at the wheel. - Contributed

Chad Bryan, Staff Reporter

With overseas companies looking to recruit Jamaicans for employment in the trucking industry, a local driving company, Pro Driver Jamaica Tractor Trailer Driving School, has established a programme for quick mastery of the massive vehicles.

The programme, which normally takes three months, will equip the student with stopping and turning techniques, sharing the road, basic manoeuvrability, controlled braking, reversing, smooth up and down shifting and how to inspect the vehicle.

It is done every Sunday in an area close to the Kingston Wharf at a cost of $9,000 per hour. There is also an express course that lasts for a month.

"We are targeting ex-police and soldiers, people who are interested to work overseas in the trucking industry, and locally, both male and female. Those are the people we are targeting," said managing director of the driving school, Alton Powis. He said a particular company had expressed interest in having their staff trained, but it did not materialise.

General licence required

As a basic requirement, persons interested in learning to drive a tractor trailer must have an open general driver's licence, The school then takes the student all the way to the depot for certification.

"We normally use the open general individuals. We do not do the actual stepping up from the motor vehicle to the truck. We do from the open general up. We know when they are ready and take them to the depot. We rent them the truck and equipment at the depot," Powis said.

After successfully completing the depot stage, an individual will then obtain a tractor-trailer articulated licence.

Powis said that people are enjoying the programme.

"Normally, persons are hesitant as to the amount of money they would be spending, but when they start they say we are charging too little. The amount of things they are getting and the risk is too little for us," he explained.

Powis also stated that a lot of persons are showing interest in the programme. Most of them are interested in employment in the overseas trucking industry.