After a day of gruelling tasks and challenges, a winner for the FTA Van Excellence Driver of the Year 2014 was eventually found from a shortlist of 12.
All of the entrants, who came from around the UK, took part in tests that established their knowledge and professionalism as well as their driving skills.
The aim of the event was to test a driver’s overall ability behind the steering wheel and when it came to driving skills, the tests included manoeuvring, risk awareness and their knowledge about current legislation on roads and driving.
Extensive testing to find the best van driver around
There was also a test to identify the defects of the vehicle before driving off with each driver scoring points for each task to find the eventual winner.
The eventual winner for the inaugural Van Excellence award was Iron Mountain driver Cameron Weir, second was Tony Finnerty from Amey and in third place was National Grid driver Matt Kitchin.
The FTA’s head of vans, Mark Cartwright, said: “The event offered van drivers a chance to redress what is often a maligned profession and celebrate the fantastic work they do on a daily basis and show how seriously they take their responsibilities.”
FTA Van Excellence drivers in the final were ‘outstanding’
He added that the calibre of those who entered the Van Excellence Driver of the Year 2014 was ‘outstanding’ with judges having difficulties choosing between most of the entrants.
Eventually, a winner was chosen after the points for each task was added up.
Mr Cartwright said that all of those who entered were outstanding drivers who displayed experience, expertise as well as knowledge in what was a difficult task.
Join Van Excellence to promote the industry
The event highlights the work of Van Excellence which is an industry-led initiative determined to enhance the standards of van operator compliance.
The initiative also aims to celebrate those operators who show excellence and for representing the best interests of the van industry.
All operators with vehicles of 3.5 te GVW or less can join Van Excellence – for more information about joining or for a copy of the code of Van Excellence, go to www.vanexcellence.co.uk.