The competition took place on Thursday 14 July, at Mercedes-Benz Wentworth Park, Barnsley, where each van driver took part in six separate tasks during the event in order to evaluate their overall ability – driving style, economical driving, manoeuvring, defect checking, legislation knowledge and risk awareness.
The winner was announced by FTA’s head of vans – Mark Cartwright, with the prizes being presented by Mark Lovett – head of commercial vehicles at LeasePlan – who said: “We are delighted to support the FTA Van Excellence initiative for the third year running. We share the same vision the FTA and work in close partnership to jointly promote best practice in van drivers and the vital role that they play.
“The Van Excellence Driver of the Year competition is the perfect platform to help change the perception of ‘White Van Man’ as it showcases the best of the best van drivers. They have been able to demonstrate their professionalism and prove that they are some of the most competent and professional drivers on the UK’s roads.”
The 12 finalists of the contest were nominated by their fleet manager who had recognised their professionalism and skills. Each was individually scored on a variety of tasks, ranked on their performance, and the overall winner was announced based on their scores.
Other winners from the Van Excellence event were Lisa Hanley from G4S in second place, and Gary Day, Riverford Organic Farms in third position.