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2nd Generation to join the Truck Driving Tribe

At TTA, we have a number of expert trainers who are all highly experienced and excellent at their job.

But, when it came to training 20 year old George Coupe, for his C+E License, there was only one training provider to oversee this, Transport Training Academy, TTA.

George spoke to us about his training with TTA (and his experience of lessons with the DSA Registered LGV Instructors at TTA and also being instructed by his Dad, David Coupe, Managing Director of TTA and who is also a DSA Registered LGV Instructor).

Congratulations on being the second generation to pass the C+E Test (Class 1 for your dad). Tell us what is involved in passing.

Thanks very much. The test is quite comprehensive. There’s a selection of procedures that need to be completed as part of the exam, there’s a section with the unit and trailer in the test center before going out onto the road. This includes reversing the unit and trailer round a number of cones and within a marked area into a parking bay. You also have to uncouple and recouple the tractor unit and trailer safely and in good time, if you complete these correctly then you go out onto the road to do the road drive, this last’s about an hour. When out on the road, there’s ten minutes free driving, with all kinds of things to look out for – avoiding weight limits, low bridges, complying with road signs, vehicle requirements and lane discipline. Particularly the examiners are looking for safety and awareness, as well as ability to control the vehicle in a variety of circumstances and situations.

What was the most difficult bit?

I wouldn’t say any of it is difficult. It’s challenging, but if you’ve paid attention during your training it shouldn’t be a problem. The most challenging areas for me was the left turns and to keep checking my blind spot.

What does it mean having passed?

It’s feels good. It’s been a long journey, because I started my Category C training when I was 18 and past a few months later. I then had a break but was still driving the trucks at work before I started the process again earlier this year. I’m now able to drive the tractor units and trailers, C+E.

How was it doing some of your training with your dad?

We are always disagreeing, that didn’t change during the lessons!  We’re really similar, but he’s a great instructor and he worked hard to get me through the training and test. He’s very professional when he’s working, so I tried not to wind him up too much! I’m grateful to him and the rest of the team at TTA, and I think he’s pretty proud of me.

You’ve been surrounded by trucks all of your life with your family. Do you still love trucks after passing your C+E test?

Yeah, dad and I live and breathe them. I fix them every day in my job is a LGV Technician for Renault Trucks, so maybe I don’t love them in the same way as I used to! I think I appreciate them more now as an amazing piece of machinery, and the sheer power of the tractor units is incredible.

What’s been the most rewarding aspect of passing your C+E test?

The ability to drive the unit and trailer is really rewarding. But also, understanding and knowing what drivers have to go through. Driving today is not easy. The road is dangerous and truck drivers have such an important responsibility to keep other drivers safe.

Trucks are getting bigger, but roads and carriageways aren’t. On the M62 in the smart motorway upgrade section the trucks we drive have about 25cm each side of the vehicle. It’s dangerous! If you don’t have the right training, your awareness or concentration slips you could end up in a nasty accident.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in training you’d want to pass on?

Just to remain aware and concentrate at all times when on the road. It’s easily said, but too easily forgotten. I’d recommend to anyone that they undergo training, Category C or C+E if they want. Even if you aren’t going to go into driving or repairing trucks for a living, the skills and ability the training gives you makes you a better driver in all vehicles and situations, if you drive cars or vans then please be patient when you are following a truck, it’s probably 16.5 meters long, 2.5 meters wide and could weigh up to 44tonnes, it might have a 500BHP engine but it doesn’t perform like a super car…

For more information about Class 2 or Class 1 Training, or for any of our vehicle training, contact us at TTA today for your free course brochure.

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