This is the first of a new feature on Training Mentor, where we meet the valued members that make up our training provider directory. Our website ensures people know all about the businesses we promote, but what about the people behind those businesses? We’re kicking off our ‘Meet the members’ series with an interview with Steve Dulson, director of Dulson Training in Shrewsbury.
TM: Hi Steve, can we start by asking how long you have been running Dulson Training and if you have any interesting stories about your company’s history?
Steve: The business has been operating since the late 80’s and I started with it around 10 years ago. We registered as Dulson Training Ltd in 2013 and expanded every year. We opened our first customer site in 2017 and then have just opened our second customer site in 2018. As far as I know, we were the first company in the UK to use an automatic (LGV) when the rules changed a few years ago. This was not all good news because we purchased two new automatics roughly 2 months before the rule change and then the DVSA made a mistake with paperwork and pushed the rule change back by a few months. This left us with two new trucks parked up for a few months unable to be used.
TM: Wow, what a nightmare! That must have been frustrating. Can you tell us the best thing about your business or your USPs?
Steve: I think we put the customer’s needs beyond anything else. We reinvest heavily and have a fleet of brand new vehicles. Two customer test sites and pre-book hundreds of tests to keep waiting lists to a minimum. We take a lot of pride in the company’s image. Our practice areas are marked and hard standing. The vehicles are maintained beyond expectations and presented immaculately every day. We have an excellent range of full-time staff and hold regular meetings seeking ways to improve our service. All customers are asked to review us and offer feedback.
TM: Sounds great, can you tell our readers more about the categories of training and other services do you offer?
Steve: We offer licence acquisition and refresher courses for every category from car to Class 1, Driver CPC Initial with our own in-house assessor and periodic training including first aid, and theory training We offer operator training for FLT, MEWP and Lorry Mounted Crane. Also professional off-road courses for 4×4 and ATV.
TM: Quite a range then! What’s your number one piece of driving test advice for your trainees?
Steve: Stay calm. If you stay calm and observant you can usually correct and manage even the most difficult situation. For example an incorrect lane choice, the worst thing to do is panic and swerve.
TM: Great advice. Can you tell us about any events you are running or attending in the future?
Steve: We held a public Open Day 12th May and we will be running another next year. It was a big success. We also do a lot with the local community, charities and schools to promote the industry and give something back. This year we have donated £500 to the ACU Benevolent Fund and £500 to the TT Riders Association. On our open day, we did a raffle and donated prizes. The proceeds went to Lingen Davies MS Trust & Perry RDA.
TM: That’s amazing, keep up the good work. Do you have any big developments in the pipeline?
Steve: We have just opened our second customer site, this has taken a lot of planning and was a big financial commitment. But we can now deliver training into an area which had no options for testing locally. We are currently looking to recruit more staff both on the road and office based. We are also adding more vehicles to the fleet. These are time-consuming decisions, we do not just go for the cheapest usable vehicle, we research and find the best vehicles to fit our customer’s needs. All staff must also share our passion for customer service, be willing to work as part of a team and go through our in-house instructor training program, DTIQ.
TM: What’s your most popular course?
Steve: We are in a fairly rural location so it’s not unusual to have between 6 and 10 Cat BE trailer courses running every week. But we also have a high demand for Cat C, CE and Driver CPC. The Cat D is probably the least.
TM: And finally, what do you like most about working with Training Mentor?
Steve: You have a great concept and something the industry needs. We are very motivated to give the best service to our customers and move with the changing times to provide the best equipment and facilities. Unfortunately, this is not commonplace in the training industry. Training Mentor only allows honest reviews and genuine recommendations which is needed. The site is easy to understand and simple to leave a review.
The best thing so far is that some of our customer reviews have already been questioned and we had to provide proof that they were genuine. Of course, they were but its good to know that they are being checked.
TM: Thanks Steve, keep up the great work with Dulson Training and congratulations on maintaining a 5-star review score on our website!