Career News, Careers & Training, Driver training

Upskill training program puts MC truckies in the driver’s seat of 330-tonne quads

A WA operator has launched a specialised MC driver training program that will see participants graduate with the ability to steer its quad road trains, in a bid to help fill over 100 driving positions.

The three-month program – being delivered by Mineral Resources (MinRes) – aims to upskill drivers with an existing MC truck licence with the skills and knowledge to drive its 330-tonne quad road trains, each with a gross vehicle mass of 425 tonnes.

Mineral Resources (MinRes) is a mining services company, working in fields including iron ore and lithium. It operates a large truck fleet, including driverless road trains – with 120 of these autonomous vehicles to be in operation before the end of this year.

The company says its recently launched MC driver training program is tailored to each individual’s experience, covering vehicle pre-start inspections, daily safety checks, driving on the haul road, operating the side tipper trailers, radio communications and much more.

Jessica Wilson-Smith successfully completed the training program and is now based at MinRes’ Koolyanobbing iron ore mine site, driving Kenworth C509 and T909 trucks with up to five trailers.

“I spent six years in the New Zealand Army as a combat driver and wanted to transition to the mining industry. I’d applied for a lot of jobs but they all wanted the same thing – experience,” Wilson-Smith said.

“MinRes offered a training program that didn’t require much mining or MC experience, which is great because it allows people to get their foot in the door and start a new career.”

According to MinRes general manager port and logistics Jason Holmes, MinRes is embarking on a period of transformational growth, with the training program introduced to meet the huge demand for heavy haulage truck drivers.

“The program is a fantastic initiative to uptrain people who have little to no experience in mining, with MinRes looking to fill more than 100 positions across our sites,” Holmes said.

“The trainees are partnered up with experienced drivers to learn the ins and outs of operating quad road trains.

“With a starting salary of six figures during the hands-on training period, trainees can progress to a fully fledged MC driver pay within six months – offering a unique opportunity to transition to a rewarding FIFO career with long-term prospects.”

To date, 40 trainees have taken part in the program, with graduates working at MinRes and CSI Mining Services mine sites across Western Australia.

1 Comment

  1. Definitely the way to go-in truck on the job training under the actual working conditions.
    Will sort the men from the boys(and girls).
    The article says they will have the120 trucks autonomous by the end of the year. I take it this is in addition to the 100 driver positions currently on offer?
    Are the autonomous trucks completely new or current vehicles modified?

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