The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is looking for the best van driver in the country through its Van Excellence Driver of the Year 2016 contest, sponsored by LeasePlan UK.
The popular event, which takes place on 14 July, is open to FTA members and Van Excellence accredited operators and tests driving skills (fuel economy and driver behaviour), manoeuvring ability, the drivers’ risk awareness, legislative knowledge and the ability of the contestants to identify pre-use vehicle defects.
FTA Head of Vans Mark Cartwright said: “The FTA Van Driver of the Year event really is testimony to the skills and expertise of the competing drivers. They’re all employed by Van Excellence accredited operators who are working at the very highest standards, and those who take part really are the best of the best – from the best operators.”
Mark Lovett, Head of Commercial Vehicles at contest sponsor LeasePlan UK, added: “The 2016 FTA’s Van Excellence Driver of the Year winner will be assessed on a number of key competencies both on and off the road and will prove that he or she is upholding the values of safe and efficient van driving and ultimately contributing to greater road safety. It is for this reason that LeasePlan UK is proud to sponsor such a worthy event”.
Following the huge success of the previous two Van Excellence Driver of the Year events, FTA has introduced three separate contests for 2016 celebrating the skills and abilities of professional drivers across the freight and logistics sector.
The three contests are FTA Truck Driver of the Year (44-tonne) sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Trucks); FTA Truck Driver of the Year (18-tonne) sponsored by Bridgestone Tyres) and the Van Excellence Driver of the Year. All three will be held at Mercedes-Benz, Wentworth Park, Barnsley, between 12 and 14 July 2016.
Mark Lovett said: “LeasePlan UK is once again delighted to work with the FTA Van Excellence team in raising the profile of best practice van operations amongst fleet operators through the Van Driver of the Year event. With over 3.2 million vans in the UK – representing 1 in 10 vehicles on our roads – sponsoring the competition highlights our commitment to raising van driver standards in a bid to make our roads safer.
“Our van fleet customers tell us that duty of care is of paramount importance to them and so it’s great to be able to recognise and reward the businesses that take their van fleet operations seriously. In addition, the awards dispel the myth of ‘white van man’ being discourteous, dangerous and unprofessional. On the contrary, it’s evident that there are an increasingly large number of organisations in the UK that follow FTA’s Van Excellence guidelines and operate a safe, efficient and legally compliant van fleet.”