Grantham firm Norbert Dentressangle invests in teaching children road safety

Pupils of Earl of Dysart School taking part in a road safety scheme. Photo: 786D

Pupils of Earl of Dysart School taking part in a road safety scheme. Photo: 786D

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It’s the height of a giraffe, the length of a hump back whale and the weight of a herd of elephants.

That’s how a brand new, state-of-the-art articulated lorry was described to primary school children when they had the chance to get up close to the giant vehicle at a safety day this week.

The £120,000 lorry and trailer from the Grantham area depot of hauliers Norbert Dentressangle was visited by Year 5 and 6 pupils from West Grantham Academies Trust pupils.

The youngsters had the chance to get in the cab and climb into the trailer, which was decked out as a classroom for a lesson in staying safe.

The visit was the latest in a series in the county organised jointly by staff at the Easton branch of the international haulage giant and the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership.

In the first month of the venture, which will now take a break until after Christmas, the vehicle has been visited by 1,000 youngsters from schools nearby to routes used by heavy lorries.

The sessions focus on giving the children an awareness of the sheer size of the vehicles, and the hazards encountered by their highly trained drivers.

The company’s national transport manager Stephen Dodsworth, based at Easton, said: “Our ethos is, safe and legal in everything we do, and this is an extension of that. Our drivers are highly trained, our vehicles are of the higest standard and helping youngsters to gain an appreciation of safety from the driver’s perspective is all part of it.”

Driver trainer Chris Moooney, who came up with idea for the safety days with colleagues at the Easton depot, said: “Seeing the children’s eyes light up when they vist is a joy and knowing that we are doing an important road safety job is very rewarding.”

Chris, of Wyville Road, Grantham, a driver for 20 years, said safety awareness gained at an early age would stand children in good stead as pedestrians, cylists and when they take to the roads themselves.

He said: “People just have no idea how much room these vehicles need, how they move, how a driver’s vision is restricted by blind spots and how long they take to stop.

“We see people doing stupid things all the time, and this is one way we hope we raise awareness of safety.”

Lorry factfile

Sixty lorries are based at Norbert Dentressangle’s Easton depot.

The company buys all its vehicles new and disposes of them after three years.

The Mercedes tractor unit, used in combination with a trailer at the safety day, costs £70,000 and develops 450hp.

The trailer is worth £50,000 and has a refrigerator for transporting frozen foods.

One of the Easton depot’s biggest customers is food processors Moy Park, which has a plant in Grantham.

The tractor and loaded trailer has combined weight of 44 tonnes and is 15.5 meters long.

The cab is equipped with a sleeper compartment and can be away from base for up to three weeks.