Matthew Pickering of Samworth Brothers Supply Chain was named the overall winner of the inaugural FTA Driver of the Year 2016 competition in London yesterday (Wednesday 2 November).
Matthew won the Truck Driver of the Year 44 tonne competition sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Trucks back in July, beating 19 other finalists. The hard-fought contest examined contestants’ driving skills (fuel economy and driver behaviour), manoeuvring ability, legislative knowledge and their ability to identify pre-use defects of the vehicle. Drivers were marked on each task and ranked based on their scores.
Matthew Pickering said: “To be named FTA Driver of the Year is a very proud moment in my life. I hadn’t realised how big a contest it was until I became involved and it means so much to get the respect I now receive from my work colleagues.”
Matthew took up truck driving 26 years ago and has worked for Samworth Brothers Supply Chain for the past 11. After starting off driving a pick-up truck and vans, he moved on to driving a Bedford TK cattle lorry, then an ERF 18 ton rigid delivering frozen chickens. He then went on to 8 metre trailers before his current role in chilled distribution with Samworth Brothers.
The other contestants for the overall award were David West of Total Foodservice Solutions, who won Truck Driver of the Year 18 tonne sponsored by Bridgestone Tyres, and Matthew Young of AAH Pharmaceutical, winner of Van Excellence Driver of the Year sponsored by LeasePlan.
The trophy presentation was made by FTA Chief Executive David Wells at the Freight in the City event at Alexandra Palace.