Launched by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the inaugural competition – intended to become an annual event – is designed to recognise all aspects of positive driving including manoeuvring, fuel economy, knowledge of road laws, risk awareness and even driver behaviour.
Taking place at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire on 10 July, the scheme is intended to encourage positive behaviours, recognising and encouraging professional, skilled and courteous van driving.
Prizes include a £1,000 holiday voucher, an iPad and a Red Letter Day voucher.
Dermot Kelleher, director of marketing and business intelligence at Motors.co.uk, said: "This scheme is simply a brilliant idea that really deserves the support of everyone in the van industry and we're delighted to get involved.
‘As one of the van industry's biggest online classified sites, we deal with van drivers and fleets on a day-to-day basis. We reckon they are often a much maligned bunch, whose “bad boy – or girl'” reputation is perhaps based on the poor behaviour of a few bad apples.
‘Let's face it; van drivers play a vital role in delivering essential goods and services to us all – especially nowadays given the huge rise in online retailing. We think these hardworking, skilled and courteous drivers deserve recognition for their dedication of professionalism, and this scheme is just the job! Who knows, this might finally see an end to the often unfair label given to the “white van man”.’
Only organisations accredited to the Van Excellence scheme, run by the FTA, are eligible to enter drivers.
Applicable operators who would like to enter a driver into the contest should email [email protected] for an entry form. This will be on a first-come, first-served basis as the number of entrants is limited.