HRETDs diesel locomotive shunting training course details
Diesel locomotive shunting
SAQA unit standard: 264338
Field: Services
NQF level:  03 (16 credits)
Maximum learners per group: Six learners
Novice training duration: Three days
Re-certification training duration: One day
HRETDs diesel locomotive shunting training course details
Training programme information summary
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Diesel locomotive shunting
course outline
Summary of course content .
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Quality in-service training solutions for mining and industry in the SACD region
HRETD offers training in the SADC regions and beyond
PO Box 4252, The Reeds, Centurion 0158
Tel: +27(0)12 661 6721 Cell: +27(0)78 389 5248
Into the future with human resources development and motivation
Training requirments
Advanced driving
Dangerous goods by road
Diesel locomotive shunting
Fuel bowsers
Rigid heavy vehicles
Tip trucks
Tow Tractor
Vehicle combinations
Water carts
Crane operations
Lift trucks
Lifting operations
Earthmoving plant
Construction plant
Construction site safety
Health and safety
ISO standards
Dangerous goods
Tools & powertools
Landscaping tools

HRETD Resource Center
HRETDs pre-operational diesel locomotive checklist
Download HRETD's pre-operational diesel locomotive checklist.
Included in this mutimedia training programme The locomotive shunting course is available to employees involved in the shunting of rail vehicles during loading, unloading and maintenance operations; it is not intended for mainline locomotive driving and operations. Training is conducted on-site at the client’s private siding where shunting procedures, which involve vehicles and motive power units or devices, take place.

Course content includes a theory component and hands-on shunting in the client’s siding.

Entry requirements

A grade 10 school-leaving qualification is assumed to be in place for this training course, as a minimum requirement. A grade 10 is equivalent to communication and mathematical literacy at NQF level 2.

Advanced driver training

Each learner will receive

Diesel locomotive shunting operator training

Train shunting operations

Course content

Legislation: Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993

We look at the legal responsibilities and OHS Act 85 of 1993.

Brands and types of diesel locomotive hauling units and component ID

Visual identification of various brands of hauling units and unit types.

Basic mechanical appreciation of diesel locomotives

We look at component and system identifications, such as diesel engines, the alternators, motor blower, air intakes, rectifiers/inverters, control stand, cab, batteries, traction motor, etc., as well as how they all fit into the functioning of the diesel locomotive.

Identification and understanding motive controls

We outline the basic standard control panel elements, and how to ensure smooth and efficient execution of use.

Diesel locomotive checks and safe operating procedures

We show the learners examples of standard procedures, driving instructions, normal driving, stopping and shutdown, inspections, rules for the locomotive driver and those who shunt, records, logs and operational planning log examples.

Hand signals and radio communication

We demonstrate hand signals and thoroughly explain radio communication.

Fault finding and corrective action

On the cooling system, engine, hydraulic system, transmission, torque converter, differential, electrical system and warning lights.

Rail traffic procedures

We discuss examples of siding plans and shunting operations, as well as the nuances to expect during each operation.

Shunting procedures

We outline procedures before shunting, procedures before entering a building/loading zone, points, interpretation of shunt heads, derailing shunt points, warning notice boards, derailing shunt points, abnormal loads, offloading of trucks, coupling and uncoupling.


We take the learners through protection at rail crossings, on approach of a rail crossing, accidents and driving disturbances, road users, emergency vehicles, red banners, the loco’s hooter/whistle and coloured lights.

Typical truck types

We describe in detail pressurised tank-, general service tank-, high-pressure tube-, cryogenic liquid tank-, hopper-, box-cars and frame types.

Compulsory notice boards

Confined space, compulsory stop, pedestrian warning and approaching notice boards at night.

Assessment methods

We conduct a formative theoretical assessment at the beginning of the course to gauge the learner’s initial understanding (novices only). At the end of the training, a summative theoretical and practical application assessment is conducted to find if the learner is competent; if not, additional developmental areas are identified and suggested.

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TETA accredited

Training programme accreditation

The locomotive shunting training programme is aligned to SAQA unit standard 264338: Shunt Rail Vehicles and falls under the auspices of the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA).

HRETD certification policy

Provided that the entry requirements have been met, and the learner found competent to shunt rail vehicles, the candidate will receive a certificate of competence that is valid for one year.

Learners are required to be recertificated once a year, to keep their certificates valid and up to date.

HRETD offers training programmes, from short skills courses to train the trainer courses. We specialise in legal compliance training that is accredited with the TETA and CETA when it comes to technical training, operator training, in service training and onsite training. Our assessors and facilitator trainers responsible for assessment, recertification and certification offer effective training that is Cost effective, competitively priced and affordable in the SADC region including Namibia. We also offer course development. For the transport and logistics industry we offer driver training, advanced driver training and Dangerous goods by road training, as well as diesel locomotive shunting and Fuel bowser training. Rigid heavy vehicle, tip truck, vehicle combination and Water cart training are also offered. When it comes to crane operations training, the lifting machines we specialise in are Heavy cranes and Mobile cranes, as well as Mobilifts, Cabin Overhead cranes, Pendant Overhead cranes and Single girder hoists. We also do Telescopic materials handler, sometimes called Telehandlers and Truck mounted cranes, sometimes called HIAB and Tower cranes. We train on a variety of lift trucks and forklift including counterbalanced lift truck, Advanced defined purpose lift trucks, defined purpose lift trucks and Side loader lift trucks. We also do rough terrain lift trucks, Reach trucks and Pedestrian stackers. Besides these, we also train on order pickers, Side loaders, Very narrow aisle lift trucks and Rail mounted stackers. We give a variety of lifting equipment and lifting operations training including Basic rigging, Banksman and Lifting equipment inspection. We also offer Safe lifting practise training. When it comes to earthmoving plant, we do articulated dump trucks, Concrete dumpers, Excavators and Face shovels. Also offered is Front end loaders, Graders and Rigid dump trucks. We specialise in training for Scrapers, Skid steer loaders and TLBs. Other earthmoving training includes Track type dozers, Tractors and Wheeled dozers (bulldozers). Tractor loader backhoe and dumpers are also offered. Our construction plant training courses includes Asphalt pavers, MEWP (also called cherry picker or mobile elevating works platform), rock breaker and jackhammer, rollers (road rollers) and Tyre handler attachments. When it comes to scaffolding training, we give scaffolding erecting and scaffold inspection – basically scaffolding safety which complies with SANS 10085 – 2004. Our health and safety training includes Construction Regulations 2014 overview or in depth, Construction site flagman and Excavation safety inspection. We also do Ladder inspection, Site safety awareness and Working at heights (also referred to as heights safety or fall arrest as well as Accident/incident investigation and Confined space entry. We offer accredited Fire fighting level 1 and Fire fighting level 2, as well as accredited First aid level 1 and First aid level 2 training. Other safety training we offer is General housekeeping, Handling HAZMAT and Health and safety rep (also called SHE rep and SHEQ), permissions training such as Hot work permissions, Lockout and isolation (also called Lockout Tagout training) We cover the OHS in depth and we have an overview course. We provide Stacking and storing and Stacking and storing HAZMAT (Hazardous materials) training. We train in powertools safety (correctly written power tools) such as Angle grinders, Boilermaking techniques (and welding and arc cutting), Cut-off saws and general Workshop safety including hand tools. When it comes to landscaping (both horticulture and agricultural), we offer Brush cutters, Chainsaws and Lawnmower training.
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