Coates Hire’s employees have been creating a safer workplace by learning to drive defensively.
 
Training is an important part of modern work places, and at Coates Hire employees are undergoing training to be better, safer drivers.  

Over the past year, 392 Coates Hire employees have completed the Murcotts Defensive Driver Training Program that has been conducted at motor racing tracks such as Sandown in Victoria, Willowbank in Queensland and the Motorplex in WA. In New South Wales the courses are held at an airfield at Quakers Hill.
Gavin Pilz, Group Manager – Talent and Capability at Coates Hire, says the Murcotts course was selected because it focuses on the benefits of defensive driving and everyday driving and traffic scenarios.

“This is the Level One program and it emphasises defensive techniques such as ‘Look Up – Stay Back’. The training switches the thinking so we’re not asserting our rights on the road, but being cautious and predictive.”
Gavin says Coates Hire has a mobile workforce where just under one thousand people drive company cars. Non-transport driving had been identified as a Top Ten risk at Coates Hire and the company is investing in driver training.

“We started with the drivers who have had a number of traffic incidents and now we’re working through the people who do the most kilometres on the road.”
 
“Some of our people cover hundreds of kilometres each week to meet the needs of customers and training them to be better drivers is a good investment for Coates Hire.”
 
Gavin Pilz, Group Manager – Talent and Capability at Coates Hire
Most of the driver-training to-date has been among sales and operations employees.

Gavin says the training has a theory component - improving your safety margin, reading ahead, identifying hazards and understanding the limitations of your emergency skills - but mostly it deals with practical issues like reaction times, speed and stopping distances, and how to avoid vehicle instability and skids.

“The exercises on braking distances and reaction times are excellent because most of us have never had to really stand on the brakes for an emergency stop. Knowing the limitations of the brakes and your own reactions is really valuable.”

He says the aim is to get all Coates Hire company car drivers through the Level 1 course and then focus on specialist training for remote and outback driving.
 

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