Sometimes, after a series of long hours stuck behind the wheel, it can be easy to overlook the extent of a driver’s skill set. What better way to perk yourself up than by trying out for the Freight Transport Association (FTA) Driver of the Year awards to prove just how great a haulier you are? |
This annual competition is a really great way for people to put aside the day to day grind of their haulage contracts to demonstrate their skills and receive well-deserved recognition. Caught your interest? Read on – this year, it could be you!
What is it?
Established last year by the Freight Transport Association, one of the UK’s largest trade associations representing the interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air, the Driver of the Year awards aims to demonstrate Britain’s best haulage drivers. This is done through a series of tests. These examine drivers’ manoeuvring abilities, their legal knowledge, and how well they can detect pre-use defects on their vehicles – not to mention the quality of their overall driving skills! The tests are spread across three days, with the winner announced later in the year in a ceremony led by a top motor sporting celebrity.
Who Can Enter?
Professional drivers of all shapes and sizes, age and gender, rookie or veteran, can take part, provided they drive 18 and 44 tonne trucks, and vans. You can nominate yourself, or employers can nominated up to 3 members of staff – just make sure you do so before 28 July 2017.
How is it Judged?
There are three categories of drivers: one for vans, one for 18 tonne trucks, and one for 44 tonne trucks, with an overall winner announced from each of these. This year also sees an award for FTA Young Driver of the Year, available to any driver across the three categories who is under the age of 30 on the first day of competition (12 September 2017).
When is it Taking Place?
The 2017 awards are taking place from 12-14 September at Mercedes-Benz, Wentworth Park, Barnsley. The full list of tests are:
• Economical Driving • Driving Style • Pre-use Defect Check • The Legislation Test • Manoeuvring Task
Last Year’s Competition
The inaugural competition took place in 2016 and was won overall by Matthew Pickering of Samworth Brothers Supply Chain. Entries were restricted to FTA Members and Van Excellence accredited operators, and the winners in each category walked away with a £1,000 holiday voucher! Runners-up didn’t go empty-handed either, with second place entrants receiving an iPad, and third-place finishers winning a £250 Red Letter Day voucher.
Category winners were:
• Truck Driver of the Year (44 tonne) – Matthew Pickering (Samworth Brothers Supply Chain) • Truck Driver of the Year (18 tonne) – David West (Total Foodservice Solutions) • Van Excellence Driver of the Year – Matthew Young (AAH Pharmaceuticals)
How You Can Take Part
With this year’s competition expanded to include all professional drivers, this is a fantastic opportunity to look beyond your haulage contracts to prove your skills and win good prizes! Just make sure you enter before 28 July using the online form, and that you’ll be available for the competition between 12-14 September, and you could be in with a chance of walking away with a trophy.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage contracts with available drivers. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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