Michelin delivers tyre safety training for Transaid in Ghana and Zambia

  • Michelin input supports key Transaid road safety projects
  • Two experienced instructors swap Staffordshire training centre for sub-Saharan Africa
  • Wealth of tyre knowledge imparted over eight days of training, benefitting more than 40 driver trainers

Two Michelin Training Instructors from the UK have successfully completed secondments with Transaid, each spending a week supporting our professional driver training programmes in Ghana and Zambia.

Paul Ryder and Stephane Bonnard, who are normally based at the Michelin Training and Information Centre (MTIC) in Stoke-on-Trent, delivered a bespoke training tailored toward the needs of truck and bus driver trainers – supporting Transaid’s ‘train the trainer’ model, which aims to develop skills at a local level.

Their inputs covered everything from understanding tyre sidewall markings to vehicle configurations, wheel fixings, and tyre fitting, including wheel security and safe vehicle jacking procedures. They also taught how to assess tyre wear and damage, what different wear patterns mean, as well as correct vehicle inspection techniques and the importance of tyre pressure maintenance.

Ryder flew 16 hours to Zambia to complete his secondment with Transaid’s longstanding partner, the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in Lusaka. During a busy week he ran two separate two-day courses, sharing his knowledge with 16 professional driver trainers, who will in turn go on to train hundreds of drivers each.

This was followed by Bonnard’s visit to Ghana, where over a similar timeframe he trained 25 HGV driver trainers and road safety officials, utilising the facilities of local haulier J K Horgle Transport in the port city of Tema.

Paul Ryder (centre, right, in Michelin top), with a group of the driver trainers he trained in Zambia.

Speaking upon his return, Ryder said: “The feedback from participants at the end of the trainings was fantastic. We covered so much over those four days, and I flew home knowing we’d successfully imparted new skills which they will be able to utilise when training the next generation of drivers.

“I felt a huge sense of satisfaction, as they’d been so receptive to the topics we were covering. I am confident our time together will help to create safer roads.”

Bonnard shared a similar experience in Ghana, saying: “The participants were really engaged in the process from day one, and so keen to learn. I now have a much better appreciation for what Transaid is working so hard with its local partners to achieve. It was also a fantastic development opportunity for me personally, and a great way for Michelin to mark 25 years as a founding member of this very special organisation.”

Stephane Bonnard (left) swapped the Michelin Training and Information Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, for Ghana, as he delivered bespoke tyre safety training tailored toward the needs of truck and bus driver trainers.

Ryder’s visit is an extension of the project Transaid began in Zambia in 2008 when it partnered with the ITC, the only public commercial driver training centre in Zambia.

Transaid’s current work in Ghana began in 2021 and forms part of a three-and-a-half-year project, funded by Puma Energy Foundation, to raise training standards and expand training capacity for HGV drivers – in a country where approximately 98 per cent of freight is transported by road.