MAN launches ProfiDrive off-road truck training

MAN hosts regional launch of ProfiDrive off-road truck driver training

MAN's truck driving simulator allows users to hone their on-road and off-road skills in a consequence-free environment.
MAN's truck driving simulator allows users to hone their on-road and off-road skills in a consequence-free environment.

MAN has launched its ProfiDrive off-road training programme in the Middle East. The news was announced at a media roundtable event in Dubai Festival City.

Senior figures from both MAN Truck & Bus Middle East and the firm’s authorised UAE dealer Darwish Bin Ahmed & Sons were present at the launch. The German manufacturer also brought along its KMW truck driving simulator to showcase the virtual component of ProfiDrive off-road training.

“What does ProfiDrive stand for?” asked Dr Richard Brown, senior product manager at MAN’s Truck Division. “It does not mean that we take car drivers and turn them into truck drivers. We take truck drivers and turn them into professional drivers. That’s the ‘Profi’ part: professional.”

ProfiDrive is a training programme that has been designed to encourage best practice amongst truck drivers. MAN has been offering the on-road component of this service in the Middle East since 2009, and with its new off-road iteration, the manufacturer is able to cover all aspects of truck operation across the region.

“Off-road does not mean the same thing for commercial vehicles as it does for cars,” Brown explained. “ProfiDrive off-road training does not teach drivers how to drive in the desert. It teaches drivers how to drive in off-road conditions with hard surfaces. We teach them how to pre-empt and predict the conditions under their tyres.”

In the UAE, drivers will also be given the opportunity to hone their skills in a virtual setting. The manufacturer’s KMW-designed simulator offers users the chance to put theory into practice in a consequence-free environment.

“This latest initiative reflects MAN’s commitment to enhancing driver efficiency across a customer fleets in the Middle East by introducing innovative training solutions,” said Rudolf Wiegand, MAN’s vice president and head of after sales in the Middle East. “The use of advanced simulators to support ongoing training is very helpful in training drivers to drive with foresight, remain calm and confident in critical situations, and stay in control of the vehicle.”

Whilst safer driving represents one of ProfiDrive’s most significant focuses, the training programme can also deliver tangible cost savings to fleet operators, according to MAN’s marketing and communications manager Sabine Geiter.

“MAN ProfiDrive stands for safety and efficiency,” she said. “Safety because the driver is the person who keeps the truck running without accidents, and efficiency because the driver is the major influencing factor in terms of fuel consumption, performance, and wear and tear.”

Indeed, driving comparisons conducted by MAN show that ProfiDrive can lead to a 5% increase in fuel savings alone. Now that both on-road and off-road packages are available in the Middle East, the manufacturer is hoping that regional fleet operators will seize the opportunity to improve the safety and efficiency of their drivers.

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