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Safety

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Driver Training of the Future

A new way to train drivers of large trucks, fire engines, and more

Over the last few years, the Pool has paid out millions of dollars in vehicle rollover claims. In an effort to combat these losses, we are investigating an investment in a technology known as SKIDTRUCK. SKIDTRUCK is a permanent attachment that allows a large vehicle to easily be raised or lowered to reduce tire traction.

This allows a user to simulate adverse road conditions and to sharpen their skills on the road. Currently, the CSD Pool is considering purchasing a SKIDTRUCK and corresponding vehicle to help train special district drivers in all driving conditions. This would effectively take the SKIDCAR training to a new level for operators of large vehicles like fire trucks, semi-trucks, or dump trucks.

A couple of years ago we partnered with Michal Michalkow, the owner of First Gear Skid School, to help bring this training to members in the form of SKIDCAR, an attachment designed for smaller vehicles.

Michal has extended a very generous discount of $100 off his SKIDCAR training course, available now to all Pool members. Email First Gear at michal@firstgearskidschool.com for more information or to schedule a course for your district.

At the core, SKIDTRUCK is a system that teaches you how to stay calm and employ techniques that keep you in control when handling hazardous conditions such as ice and rain.

In addition, the course provides training with modern braking systems and electronic vehicle stabilization control systems, faulty braking systems, tire blowouts and anti-skid equipment failure. Ultimately, the goal is to help break the bad habits your drivers might have by replicating hazards found during adverse weather conditions in a controlled environment.

In August of 2018, we had the opportunity to witness a SKIDTRUCK demonstration at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. Every year they train hundreds of firefighters throughout the state of Oregon. Along with the truck they have a trailer that houses the system which they take on the road to train drivers all over the state.

The goal of the SKIDTRUCK is to help you in these situations by improving your skills when you only have seconds to think. When operating the vehicle, you feel the same inertia you would if you were running into those icy conditions.

Most of us have never driven a vehicle over 20,000 lbs. and had it go sideways. By using the SKIDTRUCK you can replicate these scenarios so that when you hit the ice you know what to do without any hesitation.

It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to have such a powerful training available. The SKIDTRUCK will help break bad habits before and teach the right habits you need to handle adverse weather conditions.

We are looking to build consensus and get commitments to use this resource before we make the purchase. If you are interested in learning more about the SKIDTRUCK or can commit to its use in your training program.

Please contact the CSD Pool’s Safety Management Consultant, Adam Johnsen, at ajohnsen@mcgriff.com with your questions or interest in this program. For more information about First Gear Skid School, visit firstgearskidschool.com.

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