Indian Oil mulls training fuel, LPG truck drivers on simulators

Seeks firms with capabilities to offer the programme at 12 installations in Telangana, Andhra

National oil marketing company Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is assessing the scope of providing simulator-based training to nearly 2,300 drivers of LPG and fuel trucks attached to 12 of its installations across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Aimed at enhancing driving skills and reducing road accidents, the proposal gained momentum with the company inviting an expression of interest (EoI). A first step, the EoI will help identify companies with the required hardware and software capabilities for the training programme.

ED and State head of IOC for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh ,R.Sravan S.Rao said on-site simulator-based training for the drivers is being contemplated to hone their skills. The company is constantly looking at ways through which it can minimise and possibly eliminate road accidents involving the vehicles that move widely consumed products such as liquefied petroleum gas, petrol and diesel.

Though not its employees — the drivers are engaged by those who bag transportation contracts — the company still is keen on improving their skills, particularly safe driving techniques, given the inflammable nature of products they transport. The emphasis is also on their health. “We have done extensive eye test for all the drivers,” Mr. Rao said. There are plans to check their hearing ability as well. At another level, the vehicle tracking system in trucks also helps the company keep an eye on drivers and violations, especially over speeding.

Whenever it takes shape, the simulator-based training will cover all the drivers, irrespective of their experience, he added.

While simulator-based driver training is offered by some institutions at their premises, IOC is keen on providing it at the bottling plants, oil terminals and depots since this would ensure that all the drivers are covered, within a specific time-frame. The EoI comes on the back of a pilot project conducted in Tamil Nadu and is also expected to help standardise training modules.

“We understand there are some startups which have got this capability,” another official said, adding the EoI would be followed by physical demo of the facilities by the identified companies. Thereafter, negotiations related to training programme would be conducted. IOC will provide the training free of cost.

The programme will be offered at Indane bottling plants in Thimmapur and Cherlapally, both near Hyderabad, and in Kadapa, Kondapally and Visakhapatnam; IOC’s Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Chittoor, Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam terminals; and oil depots in Ongole and Ramagundam.

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