Wodonga TAFE’s Driver Education Centre of Australia has signed off on its first major international deal, with its programs set to train heavy vehicle drivers across Asia.
Thai company SCG Logistics Management has entered into a five-year training agreement with the centre, which provides specialist post-licence training.
Wodonga TAFE chief executive Mark Dixon said the deal opened the door for further connections across South East Asia.
“SCG is a company that’s now one of the pre-eminent logistics providers in Thailand … about two years ago, we brought some of their drivers over here for training,” he said.
“They want to roll out the DECA equipment to their whole business and the next phase in the negotiation is around how we deliver it – whether we send out trainers to Thailand, bring their people back here, or do a combination of both.”
Mr Dixon said DECA, based at Barnawartha’s Logic Centre precinct, was growing as a centre of excellence.
“It has a national footprint and we’re negotiating with the South Australian government about another contract opportunity,” he said.
“DECA does all of the driver training for the Army and at least half of the driver training for the Navy.
“Building on that will be this deal with SCG and Thailand.”
The centre offers seven programs including the Superior Heavy Vehicle Licensing Program, which puts participants behind the wheel of a truck fitted with technology that allows the truck to get to the point of rolling, without actually tipping.
The program is able to demonstrate how driving techniques can lead to fuel cost savings of up to 15 per cent for fleet operators.
DECA business facilitator for transport Alex Stojanovic said the program was about creating safe drivers.
“Licensing is just done to a standard, it doesn’t give the driver industry experience,” he said.
“Our roll-over and stability program teaches drivers situations like coming off the freeway – if you came off at 20km/h, you would turn the corner safely, but at five kilometres faster, the vehicle could roll over.
“There's no one else in Australia that can do the practical side – there are others that do theory with roll-over, but no one has a set up like we have.”