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Microlise Driver of the Year Awards launched, supported by RHA

The Microlise Transport Conference, being held at The Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Wednesday 20th May, will include for the first time the presentation of the Microlise Driver of the Year awards.

Supported by the Road Haulage Association (RHA), The University of Nottingham and MAN Truck & Bus UK, the Microlise Driver of the Year awards aim to recognise the UK’s most talented HGV drivers – acknowledging the vital work they do and the professionalism with which they carry out their work. It is the first dedicated programme of its kind in the UK, with winners chosen purely through the analysis of telematics data and manager feedback.

Initial data for the awards was gathered and analysed from over 90,000 drivers engaging with Microlise’s telematics solutions. Further selection was then made based on a minimum number of miles driven across each of the four quarters in 2014, before data gathered from each qualifying driver was assessed using a range of criteria such as harsh braking, idling and speeding.

Microlise engaged with The University of Nottingham’s Advanced Data Analysis Centre to study the data anonymously (with company, contract and driver information removed), in order to identify the best performing drivers in each of three categories: short, medium and long distance, which were determined following advanced data clustering techniques being used by the specialist data analysis team.

The data was then supported by questionnaires completed by the employers of each shortlisted driver, helping to provide further evidence and indicators that might contribute to a driver being named as a winner.

Bob Harbey, Executive Director at Microlise, said: “HGV drivers have a vital role to play in the day to day running of the country. They are professional, skilled workers and given the level of insight we have at Microlise into just how well some of these drivers are performing, we thought they deserved recognition.

“Through telematics data, we can accurately identify some of the most talented drivers in the industry. Thanks to additional feedback about individual drivers provided by their employers, a final shortlist will be generated by the RHA, who will be given anonymised information to ensure complete fairness and transparency.”

A total of 46 drivers across 16 different companies* are being considered for the final shortlist – where five drivers in each category will win a track day, courtesy of MAN Truck & Bus UK.

David Lester, Head of Fleet Management, at MAN, said: “Here at MAN we strongly believe that, whilst he’s not responsible for signing the actual cheque, the driver has a very big part to play in the buying decision for a heavy commercial vehicle.

“As a supplier of trucks with a reputation for being very much a ‘drivers vehicle’ we are absolutely delighted to be able to engage with some of those drivers by sponsoring the inaugural Microlise Driver of the Year awards, an event which is finally rewarding HGV drivers for the great job they do day in day out on Britain’s roads.”

Richard Burnett, RHA CEO, added: “At the RHA we share Microlise’s desire to recognise the vital role that drivers play. We are leading the effort to get government to recognise this through investment in training new drivers and making their work place a much improved one through better roads and fit for purpose rest facilities. We are therefore extremely proud to support these awards. The data gathered through the telematics systems used by Microlise’s customer base is both staggering and invaluable, providing a unique insight into the performance levels of the UK’s HGV workforce. The workforce that delivers the UK’s economy.”

The awards are planned to run on an annual basis, to be awarded at the Microlise Transport Conference each year. And, a white paper will be produced by The University of Nottingham in due course, outlining the methodology and processes used in the selection process. Further details on the competition are available at www.microliseconference.com/driveroftheyearwww.microliseconference.com/driveroftheyear.

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