FTA launches 2017 Driver of the Year contest

FTA launches 2017 Driver of the Year contest

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has launched its annual Driver of the Year contest with two new additions. This year the competition is open to all drivers, not just FTA members, and there is a new category to recognise the Young Driver of the Year.

The three-day event will be held at Mercedes-Benz, Wentworth Park, Barnsley in September, and is open to professional drivers of 18 and 44 tonne trucks and vans. Bridgestone Tyres has announced it will once again sponsor the 18 tonne category and entrants will be scored on a variety of practical and written tests, with winners announced at the end of each day.

The overall FTA Driver of the Year will be revealed at FTA’s final Transport Manager conference in December at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Last year’s winner was Matthew Pickering of Samworth Brothers Supply Chain, who beat 19 other finalists to top the 44 tonne contest. The rigorous day of tests examined contestants’ driving skills (fuel economy and driver behaviour), manoeuvring ability, legislative knowledge and their ability to identify pre-use defects of the vehicle. 

Matthew, who took up driving 26 years ago, 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.”

This year’s Van Excellence driver of the year contest will be held on September 12, followed by the 18 tonne truck competition on September 13 and the 44 tonne category on September 16.

All contestants must be resident in the UK and Young Driver of the Year entrants must be under 30 on September 12 2017. Entries can be made at www.fta.co.uk/driver17 and must be received by July 28.