The move to MOTEC in Shropshire
From here we went home for the weekend and then on Sunday afternoon we travelled to our hotel in Baldock ready for our instructor course. Both of us had been trained in Methods of Instructionand were not really excited about having to attend this course which was taking place at a government engineering training centre at Letchworth.
Actually the course turned out to be very enjoyable, run by very professional Trainers and we both learned far more than we expected. In particular we learned analysis skill as it was pointed out that when something new is created it is instructors who have to teach it to others. An instructor cannot rely solely on their experience on which to build and conduct a training course . We both did well on the course and my colleague, Ike turned out to be an excellent instructor in spite of his political views and we got on well together. (Webmaster: Ike Pruden once spent around 30 minutes doing a mock lesson teaching me how to mount and dismount the truck correctly!)
From here we moved to our brand new training centre at MOTEC in Shropshire and we were surprised at the sheer enormity of the place and spent most of our first day finding our way around and discovering the huge range of courses available there.
Of course we met up with our Furniture Removals Instructors who had been there for several weeks running their new courses and our new immediate boss Brian Todd an ex Pickfords estimator who was a Training Officer and head of Fork Lift Truck and Furniture Removals training and we met the General Manager and the Training Manager of the centre. (Webmaster: Brian Todd later went on to become an instructor assessor for RTITB and had the job of travelling around examining instructors. He was the first one I got in the 70s).
Tuesday we spent some time rearranging racking and loads to enable us to create a proper Training facility, Then I got stuck into training Ike to use a Reach truck. He did quite well but admitted that he preferred the Counterbalance truck. Our trucks were a Coventry Climax Diesel Counterbalance with an unusually high mast (18 ft lift) and a Lansing Bagnal FRER 7.1 Reach truck with 15 ft lift.
We had reported to Mr Fortnam who had purchased these machines that we were worried about the stability of the Counterbalance truck, for if one raised the mast to its full height unladen and tilted the mast forward the back wheels of the truck came off the floor!
We also pointed out that it was extremely cold in our hanger, called training hall 1, as it had no heating and both ourselves and our trainees would have to be issued with cold weather clothing. Coventry Climax sent an engineer who replaced the truck’s tilt jacks with shorter ones which reduced the amount of tilt available and also fitted twin wheels to the front axle which increased its stability, but we were both aware that it still had limitations and had to be treated with care. It would certainly not pass today’s stability tests. I trained Ike to use the Reach truck. He did well but admitted that he preferred the counterbalance truck. (Webmaster: MOTEC never did warm up and heating was never installed in the training halls. It's no wonder RTITB moved to Telford later).