Black cab driver Haider Ali is extending his driving skills and horizons by swapping his taxi for something a little larger – he is now qualified to get behind the wheel of a 44-tonne HGV, thanks to Birmingham-based A1 Training.
The Solihull Council-licenced Hackney cabbie wanted to extend his career options and broaden his travel experience when he approached A1 after being inspired by his brother.
“My brother is a haulier driving between Canada and the USA. He really enjoys the freedom of the open road,” said Haider, who is based in the taxi rank at Birmingham International Airport.
“I love driving my cab, but I thought it would be great to be able to explore other career opportunities for the future, perhaps driving long-haul vehicles into Europe.”
“I approached A1, who are a very friendly and professional team and were more than happy to answer any questions I had.
“I had always wanted to drive a lorry from a young age and so A1 arranged a lorry for my test and training with PGS Logistics, who kindly suggested that one of their vehicles was available. I was lucky enough to pass the test on my first go.
“Dave, my instructor from day one for C2 and C1, has a great sense of humour, and the rest of the team were awesome, too. Despite being an experienced driver, they were very thorough with me and were at pains to make sure I understood everything in great detail – they were really professional.”
Collin Meredith, managing director at A1 Training, said: “We get a lot of people who are professional drivers but want to push themselves and try something different, and possibly change career. However good they are, we treat them the same as any other new driver to make sure they understand every aspect of the vehicle and the challenges and risks of driving larger equipment.
“Haider was a great pupil who has big ambitions for the future. He was very attentive and we wish him good luck.”
For more details about A1 Training, which is based in Kitts Green, Birmingham, visit: www.a1traininggroup.co.uk.