David West of Total Foodservice Solutions beat off competition from 11 other finalists yesterday to be named the Freight Transport Association’s Truck Driver of the Year 18 tonne 2016 sponsored by Bridgestone Tyres.
The competition, held at Mercedes-Benz at Wentworth Park, Barnsley, put drivers through their paces in a number of tests including driving skills (fuel economy and driver behaviour), manoeuvring ability, risk awareness, legislative knowledge and their ability to identify pre-use defects of the vehicle. Contestants were scored on each task and ranked based on their scores.
The winner was announced by June Powell, FTA’s Director of Operations, and prizes were presented by Jenny Tyers from sponsor Bridgestone Tyres.
Ms Powell said: “Today’s contestants have shown the exceptional skill and expertise it takes to be a professional driver and FTA is proud to recognise and reward their vital role in the logistics industry.”
FTA introduced three separate driving contests this year following the hugely successful Van Excellence Driver of the Year events in 2014 and 2015. The competitions celebrate the skills and abilities of professional drivers across the whole sector and aim to raise awareness of the importance of freight and logistics.
Yesterday’s Truck Driver of the Year 18tonne sponsored by Bridgestone Tyres followed the 44 tonne contest on Tuesday, which was sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Trucks. Tomorrow sees van drivers put their skills to the test in theVan Excellence Driver of the Year sponsored by LeasePlan UK.
Logistics operators including Speedy Services, Central England Co-Operative, Bookers, Ceva Logistics, Matalan, XPO Logistics and United Biscuits and among those represented at the competition.
Yesterday’s winners’ presentation was broadcast live on Facebook and a video of the day can be seen on FTA’s YouTube channel. The overall winner of the contest will be revealed at the Freight in the City expo at Alexandra Palace on 2 November.