PCV driver training – a change of plan?

Those of you who follow this blog regularly will know that its prime purpose is to chart my progress towards becoming a fully trained and licensed PCV driver. I started that process earlier this year after my boss offered to have me trained on one of the company vehicles. I duly studied for and passed the theory modules and the CPC Case Studies module. Since passing those initial modules I have been patiently awaiting the call to start my practical training but so far it hasn’t come. It seems that, although the will is there, the resources aren’t. By that I mean the instructor is concentrating on more immediate, revenue-earning tasks.

Naturally, it’s disappointing and frustrating to have started the journey only to stall before reaching the destination. Despite dropping hints and hearing encouraging comments, I’m no nearer my goal of becoming a driver. I’m still sat in the garage and my batteries are going flat!

I’ve made enquiries with a couple of commercial training firms recently as I feel this will be the only way to make any progress. I’ll probably see a ‘significant person’ this weekend and will try to strike a deal on the matter.

Speaking (OK then, writing…) of the weekend, this coming Saturday and Sunday are your last chance to ride the Service 400 ‘Exmoor Explorer’ in 2010 as our season finishes on Sunday. The weather looks fine, if a little autumnal. So, wrap up warm and join me on one of our open top Bristol Lodekkas as we amble through the delightful Somerset countryside for the last time this year. I shall have a trainee conductor with me on Saturday.

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7 comments on “PCV driver training – a change of plan?

  1. Mike Dan says:

    I do wish you the best towards your driver training. You fully demonstrated your skill at doing so at the Torbay Rally and I would have thought such a person as youself is a very valuable asset to Quantock Motor Services or any other Company. Enthusiasm is such a valuable asset!

  2. Brian says:

    I enjoyed my round trip early in the summer, from Porlock to Porlock, and hoped to thank you earlier and in person. As it’s the end of the season with you still in the back I will try and make it for one of your last two days.
    I am most likely to be the “man from Exford” on Sunday although the connection from the 401 is tight if it gets delayed out of Lynmouth!
    If I don’t make it I just have to say how I am glad never to have conducted an open topper! I lost a few coins off the platform in my time but your notes could end up in Wales!
    Hope you get up front soon and thanks again.

    • busmanjohn says:

      Thank you Brian. I lost most of a roll of tickets off the platform earlier this year when the cover fell off my ticket machine but (so far) I haven’t lost any money! I will look out for you at Exford.

  3. Stephen says:

    I had a similar experience when I was trying to get my PSV Licence.
    Like you I ended up taking my test with a Private Driving School (Wallace School of Transport, now based at Wembley). See my website http://www.stephenhowarth.co.uk and open the page “Learning to Drive a Bus”.
    It was an expensive exercise, it cost me a total of £72, and that included 3 nights B&B and travelling expenses, but it was 1972.
    Good luck and keep up with the blog.
    All the best
    Stephen

  4. Sorry to hear about the delay in your PCV training, would have thought another driver willing to take on manual gearbox buses would have been a real asset to Quantock MS. To my untrained eye & judging by what I saw at Torquay, you appear to be almost ready for your test anyway. Have you thought of just winging it or do you need a certain number of hours tuition by law?

    • busmanjohn says:

      I’m flattered to read your very supportive comments Bob (and Mike, above) but no, I wouldn’t consider going for my test without some formal tuition. Although heritage buses like the Bristol Lodekka present their own challenges, the test would be taken in a modern coach. I have only driven one of those once and then only for an hour and a half when I had an assessment last autumn. So I need several hours experience in a 40ft vehicle and expert tuition on the requirements of the test before I would be confident in going for the PCV practical test.
      After that, I’m sure that going back to heritage buses will be a doddle!

  5. Mike Dan says:

    Hi John, Thanks for a brilliant tour around Exmoor on the 400 bus last weekend. As you know I took lots of photos while on the journey. If you care to see a selection of them, they are now on line at youtube under ADMIRALSCORNER.

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