Tuesday, August 27, 2013

FORD: Driving Skills for Life


In my past life, I used to wear a career in the sales force business, specifically in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Actually, it was my first real job after graduating from College. At that time, it was the “in” or the coolest employment where I can hang out with doctors and medical professionals, a hefty remuneration packages and of course, the company car where one can practically use it within and off duty hours. I spent nine years selling meds covering MDs all over the metro and also reached outskirts of Luzon. Practically, 85% of my job was driving, and I’ve already been to a lot of places. 



In my nine year-career as a Medrep, I would say that my driving skills are considerably quite exemplary. I was able to gain much road-worthy knowledge over the years of driving. Apparently, I was surprised to discover that the head knowledge I acquired through experience and self-taught reading was just a small fraction of what I learned in Ford last August 10, 2013. 



Me, my wife Ruth and other online media reps was invited to attend Ford Philippines road safety initiative that is being offered to licensed drivers since 2005. This program is called Driving Skills for Life or simply DSFL. It is a Ford Global program about safe and practical driving lessons, but it is contextualized to Philippine setting. Over the years, there are more than 20,000 licensed drivers have participated in the program. 



This year, Ford partnered with Tuason Racing School (TRS) to lead the DSFL Seminars. This includes interactive lessons on safe, smart and fuel efficient driving techniques, as well as the practical, vehicle driving component of the training. The DSFL seminars will be held at various participating Ford dealership within Metro Manila. This includes Ford Alabang, Ford Commonwealth, Ford Global City, Ford Libis, Ford Makati, Ford Manila and Ford Manila Bay. Seminars are also being conducted in key provincial dealership like Ford Batangas, Ford Cavite and Ford Pampanga



Our seminar was held at Ford Manila Bay. I noticed that the dealership is newly constructed because there were very few cars parked in the service bay area and the equipment are all brand new. In the Seminar, some of the lessons tackled were familiar to me already but many were a revelation. Like the proper hand positioning on the steering wheel should be at three and nine o’clock position. All along I knew that it was two and ten. When going long drives it advisable to rest at least every two hours. Now that is something I don’t do before because I remember driving as far as Bicol non-stop. After eight to nine hours of driving, I was dead tired. 



Another new lesson for me is setting the Early Warning Device or EWD when the car broke down. So whenever I have a flat tire in the middle of the road or highway, I placed my EWD just over ten meters from the vehicle. But the right distance should be 50 meters from the vehicle. For a more fuel efficient car, it was advised that when driving without using the air conditioning, the right speed should be 80k/h with windows open. But if you want to speed up, it is better to close the window and open the aircon. The drag of leaving the window open more than 80k/h creates drag to the car thus consuming more fuel to move the car forward.



In the seminar, the facilitator distributed participant handbook that served as a guide for us. After the lecture, some of us were invited to drive the new Ford Focus around Manila Bay area. I was amazed of its latest features that actually a standard for the Focus. Such as the self-parking technology, hands-free mobile system that lets you converse through the speakers of the car via Bluetooth. 



The short driving experience lasted only for 10 minutes. As much as I wanted to cover some more areas in the Manila Bay, we need to go back to the dealership and pacify my yearning by just shooting some pictures of the Ford vehicles displayed there and be satisfied by looking and appreciating them in pictures…for now. 



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