The search is on for the country’s best van drivers with the launch of this year’s Van Excellence Driver of the Year competition, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans.
The popular contest, now in its sixth year, will take place on Saturday, June 8, at Bott in Ashby-de-la-Zouch.
Supported by Bott, Brigade Electronics, Hertz, Lex Autolease and Quartix, the competition is open to Van Excellence members only and is aimed at recognising and celebrating the very best drivers from the very best van operators.
A presentation will be made at the end of the day to the overall Van Excellence Driver of the Year, the second and third place contestants and the Van Excellence Young Driver of the Year.
Winners will be presented with their trophy on the day and prizes include a holiday voucher, a GoPro and Red-Letter Day vouchers.
“To be a successful van driver you need to have a multitude of skills,” said Mark Cartwright, head of vans and light commercial vehicles at the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
“As well as being able to manoeuvre your vehicle safely, efficiently and cost effectively to a tight timetable on Britain’s crowded roads, successful drivers must have excellent observation and concentration, as well as an understanding of all the relevant legislation and safety procedures.
“Van drivers are the lifeblood of our economy, delivering everything we need and are not always given the recognition they deserve – we plan to remedy that situation.”
Entries close on Friday, April 19. Each operator may enter one driver over 30-years-old and one under 30-years-old driver, and competition places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Drivers will complete various tasks on the day of the competition, and will be rated on driving style, fuel economy, legislative knowledge, risk perception, manoeuvring and vehicle defect checking.
Further information on the event and how to enter can be found at fta.co.uk/vdoty19.
Administered by FTA, the Van Excellence programme was created in 2010 to promote the safe operation of vans, represent the interests of the sector, and celebrate operators demonstrating excellent standards.
Central to the scheme is the Van Excellence Code, a set of minimum best practice standards all van operators should aspire to achieve, covering safety, efficiency and sustainability.