You could say that Brad Darling, is a jack of all trades. Having learned to drive trucks growing up on his parents’ farm just south of Timaru, he now splits his time between running his own business, working on his parent’s farm and working for Temuka Transport as a driver trainer.

Driver trainers Brad Darling and Johnny Baxter.

Although Brad’s experience in the industry is strong, both he and his colleague at Temuka Transport, Johnny Baxter, decided to enrol in MITO’s New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport Skills (Level 3). “Both Johnny and I have a lot of experience in the industry, but we surprised ourselves with some things that we didn’t know so it was interesting learning what those things are and why they happen,” Brad adds. “I’ve learnt a lot in the past six months, working through it.”

Johnny, who works in driver development at Temuka Transport and has been with the company for almost ten years, agrees with Brad, saying, “the idea was for us to do the programme first and then support our drivers. They could gain a qualification as well as hone their skills on a more in-depth level.”

Johnny admits that the legal sections in the programme were the most compelling. “The one I liked the most was about heavy vehicle permits, overweight runs and route planning. It’s one of those topics that people have not spent a lot of time on but to be able to get into it in depth and use the programme to further our training and the training of our drivers is great.”

When asked about MITO’s online system, Johnny says, “it’s very good. The online portal is easy to deal with, the layout is good, and the questions are easy to read. Maureen, our MITO Industry Training Advisor, was great to deal with too.”

Brad adds that, “we’ve never used an online system like the MITO online portal and eLearning before, so it’s been interesting to see a different way of teaching and learning.”

With the Skills programme done and dusted, Brad and Johnny aren’t stopping there with MITO’s New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator) (Level 3) next on the list. “It’s something we might suggest to some of our drivers we’ve had for several years as some more advanced training,” Brad says. “We don’t want to forget about them and just focus on the new drivers.”

Brad also explains the reasons why re-training later in your career is just as important as training when starting out. “A lot of rules and regulations have changed in the last couple of decades,” he says. “More skilled drivers still have things to learn.”

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