We were pleased to take part in the Worshipful Company’s driving day, hosted by their good friends in 20 TNT SQD.
Early on the morning of 19th July 2017, Plan Insurance Brokers’ Taxi Sales Manager Daniel Severin and Taxi Sales Team Leader Kieran Hull attended the Regents Street Barracks. The pair were slightly nervous as they weren’t sure what military challenges they might be facing!
They knew they’d been invited to pit their skills against the crème de la crème of the Royal Logistics Corps, but little else. Regardless of their concerns they turned up promptly for the commencement of battle at 09.00 hours (as they say in the forces.)
On arrival, attendees were separated and put into 6 teams. They were presented with 6 challenges they would be tested on throughout the day.
Daniel Severin describes how the tasks went:
1. Drink Driving
“This was to show you the dangers of using alcohol or having impaired vision and trying to drive. Sadly there was no alcohol involved; but instead we were put on a driving simulator and wore special glasses which impaired our vision. Then as a team we had 1 hour to complete as many laps of the track.”
2. Blind-Fold Driving
“This was a test of your ability to give and take instructions whilst under pressure. Each team member would take it in turn to be blinded folded and then to give instructions. The idea was to drive around a set course, not crossing any lines or hitting any cones. I must admit I thought this would be much easier than it was. However, when you are blindfolded, you seem to lose not only the ability to see but also find it very hard to judge movement of the car. So at times you felt you were moving; to only be told to the vehicle was at a standstill!”
3. Truck and Trailer
“This test involved an old (and abused) Army Land Rover and also a very long trailer. You had to drive around a circuit avoiding cones, hitch up to a trailer, then reverse parallel park it. When it was demonstrated it looked very easy and everyone was extremely confident. However I can assure you it was harder than it looks!”
4. European Driving Test
“We had to sit an EU standard driving theory test. I think we all learned something new as there are quite a few differences to the UK. I would strongly recommend that anyone planning to drive in the EU to take a look at doing this test, and testing their knowledge. You may be surprised.”
5. Map and Navigators Test
“This test felt like being a spy. We were given a map and list of places to visit to gather information from. I am sure some members of the public were confused when they saw 6 people jump out of car, two of them in Army uniform, who then went charging into a shop then charging out again. It must have been a sight!”
“This was to test your ability to reverse and to reverse a LTI TX4. So not being a taxi driver myself, this was an experience for both the Army personnel and myself. I think it took us all by surprise by how good the turning circle was. We all know that a London Taxi is renowned for its ability to turn; however I don’t think you can fully appreciate until you do it yourself.”
The WCHCD are very proud to have worked in partnership with the regiment on many charity events over the years. The driving day is a great way to cement that relationship.
After a day of tough mental concentration the guests relaxed by tucking into a BBQ and taking full advantage of the very competitively priced mess bar.
“It was a great day and made even better that my team won! This is an annual event and I would strongly recommend that anyone who is part of the trade and wants a fun day out should keep your eyes open for next year’s date.”
Daniel Severin, Taxi Sales Manager at Plan Insurance Brokers