Aid Worker Driver Training – Needed now more than ever.

OEX designed this approach years ago and is now in a position to implement it at drastically reduced rates. This training will save your organization huge amounts of money and time, and might save something much more important -- lives. It is our goal to make this work for your group - cost, curriculum, class structure, vehicle choice, and our flexibility will all be used to satisfy this goal.

Overland Experts has been training NGOs, aid organizations and other humanitarian groups for over 15 years. We have determined that the training needed for humanitarian aid differs significantly from much of our other trainings. We also realize that budget constraints are often a serious consideration.

Specifically we see this training curriculum of instruction in brief summary:

  • Basic driver skills and vehicle understanding - on road and off road. Plan development and field preparation. Can the operator drive a manual transmission, special awareness, general safety.
  • Being a "driver, when driven - it is accepted practice for humanitarian groups to have drivers, but ignorant reliance of these drivers can lead to bigger issues. We will get you to be able to assess your drive BEFORE you go into the field.
  • Marginal area driving - deeper planning, harder conditions. Operators understanding of traction and uneven ground. This holds true for 2wd and 4wd.
  • Skid control - both with 4wd and 2wd on dirt and on tarmac. Threshold breaking, oversteer skid, understeer skid.
  • Convoy applications - understanding convoys and you role as a driver in them
  • Situational awareness and evasive driving - check points, assessing road condition, avoidance and driver control (skid control - see above).
  • Basic field recovery - what to do in the real world when you are stuck
  • Basic field repair - basic field repair. Tires, brakes, leaks, clutches…..Work within the real world. Tricks of the trade, how to use what you have. Understand the problem so as to avoid mistakes and/or being taken advantage of by misguided help.
  • Cost - Overland Experts will extend special pricing for this training that accounts for the position of most humanitarian organizations - i.e. more money spent on training means less to the people in need.

Curriculum

This particular curriculum is based purely on our experiences in very bad conditions, often with the wrong or less than suitable vehicles that seems to get stuck and break down every day. We have many decades of experience at this level from all corners of the world. Our trainers have spent professional as well as personal time under these conditions. The objective of this training is to create a self-sufficient driver knowledgeable enough to be prepared with whatever condition and vehicle he or she is presented with upon arrival.

We understand the constraints on operators in terms of available equipment, drivers (or self-drive), exposure, and training budgets. Our curriculum is based on years of real world experience, not on what we think it might be like….we know what it is like. We present this material in a linear and methodical manner in order to allow students to progress at the fastest rate. You will learn to think like an off road vehicle. We will use both 2wd and 4wd vehicles. We will use common 4WD vehicles found world wide - Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Hilux, Land Rover Defender, Mitsubishi Pajero. We will use both left hand drive vehicles (LHD) and right hand drive (RHD) vehicles. Often, more than most like, a 2WD vehicle is all you have and we will train you in Honda Civics, and Toyota Corolla types.

OEX prides itself in concentrating on the consistency of our message and training methodology. No matter which one of our branches you go to, the message will remain the same - linear progress, method, repetition, practice and an awareness of peoples' differing learning styles. It is this consistency, of our curriculum, our trainers, our courses, and our vehicles that allows for a rapid learning process that cements the learned skill set into a person's long-term memory.

Location

You can come to us at one of our branches

  • USA - CT (2 hours out of Boston or New York and on the Amtrak train line), VA (less than 1 hour outside Washington DC and on train line), NC (less than 50 miles from Fayetteville NC), CA (1.5 hours east of LA)
  • Canada - 1.5 hours outside Toronto
  • Iceland - Iceland requires a class of 12 all from your organization itself.
  • Your location - we can send staff to your location anywhere in the world that is fairly/reasonably safe (anything non-human instigated hostilities). Your organization will be responsible for airfare, accommodations, food and SOS EVC insurance.
  • "Dangerous Areas"; Hostile environments - we can come to your location under less than ideal conditions, however each case needs to be assessed - very dangerous areas require cost compensations. However, if you have a large number of people these cost can often be justified. Your organization will be responsible for airfare, accommodations, food, increased staff pay, and SOS EVC insurance.
  • Who can take this class?

    We will prioritize trainings based on need. You must be a proven humanitarian group deployed to an active area, and in need of timely help. Only field operators are eligible to train with us, we just don’t have time to train officials, or administrators.. We will train local nationals hired by your NGO.

    Space is limited. As much as we would like to, we cannot train huge numbers of people on an often non-profit level. We can and will do as many as we can however. It is a first come first serve basis prioritized by need.

    We require a hold harmless waiver from the NGO itself, and all students must also sign a personal waiver.

    Costs

    We will be using your groups to fill open dates in our schedules. By doing this we save you money, and we can offer the training at very reduced rates. We have developed a manner that will allow us to offer training on a non- profit basis, however it does require that we have enough individuals to run a well structured class and at the same time spread the costs we incur (insurance, vehicle maintenance and repair, staff salaries, etc). We will work with you on a break even policy.

    Suffice to say training a group of 12 for three days at our location with our vehicles would be less than $100 USD per day per person. Using your organization's vehicles could lower your cost considerably.

    • Group size: Min 8, max 24
    • Number of days: 3
    • Vehicles – ours
    • Instructor to student ratio: 1:6
    • Payment must be received on the first day of training
    • Accommodations (not included) where possible will be offered at cost or below - call us and we can set something up with other local NGOs.
    • Vehicles - (see sample here) we will use our tried and true ones most often used by Aid workers.

    You must supply your own interpreters if needed either at our branches or at your location.

    Note - Classes will be scheduled so that as many NGO groups or individual can be combined into one class. Any "no show" individuals will still be charged for the class.

    To get an accurate quote please contact Erik Eisensmith at (860) 873-9640 or via email erik@overlandexperts.com

    Steps to Recovery — Asia Development Review