Air Products has crowned its first Driver of the Year, Adrian Garlick, at Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Wentworth Park complex in South Yorkshire.
Garlick took the honours at an event hosted by dealer Roanza Truck & Van. Six drivers were selected from 47 qualifiers on the basis of their scores in the fields of economic driving, compliance, safety and zero ‘Preventable Vehicle Accidents’ throughout 2018.
Garlick and his fellow contenders Andrew Cartwright, Dave Chadwick, Jeremy Cook, Clive Dennis and Alan Graham faced a series of trials which tested every day skills and driving ability.
“I was up against some very tough competition from my colleagues, and I’m sure the margins were very tight, so I’m delighted to have won,” said Garlick.
The programme included on-road driving in an Actros tractor unit, and an opportunity to pilot an all-wheel drive Unimog over Wentworth Park’s off-road circuit.
There were manoeuvring challenges in a fully-electric FUSO eCanter light truck, a tricky reversing task in an Econic refuse collection vehicle with blacked-out mirrors, and a fault recognition exercise based on the standard driver’s walk-around check process.
Garlick took the individual prizes in the reversing, fault clinic and quiz elements of the competition, while Alan Graham won the on-road drive and manoeuvring tests, and Dave Chadwick beat the field in the off-road challenge.
Air Products UKI distribution manager Mark Pawsey said: “Today was really about celebrating our drivers – recognising those who are responsible for our trucks out on the road, and the contributions they make to our success.
“It was the first time we’d held an event like this, and it couldn’t have gone any better. Our partners from Roanza Truck & Van, together with the Wentworth Park team, organised everything superbly.
"I’m already looking forward to returning next year, for an even bigger, better competition.”