Training targets new truckies

Trucking companies are so in need of qualified big-rig drivers they have rallied together and once again engaged an accredited training institute to come into the area and deliver a Heavy Transport Driver Training Programme for "wanna-be truckies".

Otorohanga Carriers Association president Eric Tait, Otorohanga Transport and Lime Haulage director Carolyn Christian, and Freight Lines HR manager Robyn Hedley are right behind the specialised heavy transport driver training programme to be launched in Otorohanga for the second time, commencing next month.

Applications are now open for the 16-week Certificate in Commercial Road Transport Level 3 course which will deliver safe and skilled professional truckers into the heavy vehicle industry.

"There are just not enough people coming in the gate for the number of truck driver jobs available - and it's a New Zealand-wide problem," says Mr Tait.

"Carriers from Te Awamutu to Benneydale have identified the shortage here and approached the Otorohanga Carriers Association for a solution."

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic delivered the course based in Otorohanga last year, with all 20 enrolled students graduating from the course.

Since completing the course the majority of the students have successfully gained full-time employment in the industry both locally and further afield.

After the great success of last year's course BOP Polytechnic has once again been contracted to provide it.

The course will be based at Freight Lines new specialised training facility at the head office site on Main North Road.

The course will be run by Otorohanga's Daniel Mateni with assistance from other polytec driver training tutors.

Graduates of this training course will drive away with a Class 2 Licence which certifies them to operate an 18-tonne, two-axle truck, as well as gaining their F, D, T, W, R endorsements and comprehensive first aid certificate.

After the 16-week course they can then continue training to gain their Class 4, then Class 5 licences if they wish.

If you are interested in enrolling in this course please attend the Open Day this Thursday, February 14 at Freight Lines Limited, head office, commencing at 10am. For further information please phone Daniel Mateni 027 2380374 or visit

- Bay of Plenty Times

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