Anyone who works in the delivery industry understands the importance of diversification. As a driver, your skills are what keep you on the road – but the broader your qualifications, the more opportunities you have in terms of the courier loads that you can take on.
Transporting Dangerous Goods
No matter how many years' experience you have as a driver, the transportation of dangerous goods requires special licensing. In the event of an accident during the transportation of courier loads of dangerous goods by road, there's far greater potential of harm to not only the environment, but also to the community. Any spills of toxic chemicals or goods pose a risk of explosion, fire and chemical burns or poisoning to the body.
In addition to ensuring that the risk of danger to persons, property and the environment is minimised, with different legislation governing every European country the training needs to be regulated in order to ensure consistency and compliancy across borders. To this end, the United Nations administers agreements that cover the effective implementation of regional rules and regulations in the trade of chemicals and other dangerous goods, including storage, work safety, consumer protection, conditions of transport and handling.
Benefits of ADR Training
ADR is a compulsory training qualification for anyone taking on the delivery of courier loads of dangerous or hazardous goods. (The acronym comes from the French translation for the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road.) Upon successful completion of the course, self-employed drivers can bid for a wider range of courier loads, enhancing their business profitability. With most courier companies transporting dangerous goods at some time or another, completing the training also opens up career prospects for drivers working in larger firms.
A certificate can be obtained for 'packaged goods', 'tanks' or both, but for courier drivers working in the commercial delivery field (as opposed to lorry drivers), the former is the appropriate qualification. The type of training will also depend on what class of dangerous substances are involved.
The course to acquire a packaged goods ADR licence is classroom-based and runs for 3.5 days. Completion of a minimum of three elements is required in order to pass, which include:
· Basic core training, covering fire prevention, load security, vehicle security, tunnels, emergency procedures and first aid. (This encompasses 1.5 days of the course.)
· An understanding of the kinds of containers (vehicles) used in the transportation of dangerous loads. (For the packages module, this is covered in half a day.)
· Training in at least one of the nine hazard classes. The classes are: explosives, gases, flammable liquids, flammable solids, oxidising substances, infectious or toxic substances, radioactive material, corrosive substances and miscellaneous substances.
Enhance your Career in Transport
Attaining an ADR licence can open up a lucrative income stream for the self-employed driver, or offer enhanced career prospects for those working for larger companies. Licences are issued by the DVLA, with specialised training available through approved local training centres.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier loads in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.