AA/BRS steps up training
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THE Automobile Association has expanded its training courses fo patrolmen in support of the joint AA/British Road Services Rescw facility which was launched in October this year.
In the early planning stages of this joint venture it was recognised that patrol members would be called upon to deal with a normally unfamiliar range of vehicles and trailers. While the lighter end of the commercial vehicle range would present few problems, that would not necessarily be the case when faced with a maximum weight vehicle trailer combination. Further complications would arise when the casualty vehicle did not carry a hand book or the driver was not familiar with his vehicle.
While many vehicle and trailer combinations incorporate sophisticated systems, particularly the air braking and electrical circuitry, the experience and common sense approach is enhanced by the increased training' programme, which is now being organised at the AA's National Training Centre at Widmerpool, near Keyworth, Nottingham.
Use is being made of video equipment, as well as heavy tractive units on loan from BAS, to show patrols the limits to which they may go when dealing with rescue breakdowns. Over 70 per cent of commeriz vehicle breakdowns are cause' by relatively simple faults — brc ken fan belts, split coolan hoses, electrical faults or fuE blockages.
To overcome these problems the AA has equipped its Fort Transit 190 patrol vans with comprehensive range of spare! such as a coolant and air braki connecting hoses, fan belts anc electrical parts. Oil, water anc diesel are carried as well as ax1( stands, hydraulic jacks anc some towing equipment. The fa cility to boost start from a 12 oi 24 volt supply is also included.
Should extensive repairs oi heavy recovery be necessary thE AA patrol can refer the case back with a more detailed assessmerd to the BRS which has access to over 700 Agents, 150 depots and more than 1,000 heavy recovery vehicles.
Membership fees for the scheme are dependent upon fleet size, and range from £8.95 p.a. for one vehicle to under £2 each for a fleet of 50.
Work at the roadside will be payed for on an as-you-use basis according to the scheme's breakdown and recovery tariff.