It’s that time of year again when UK truck drivers,fleet managers and owners of haulage companies find out the results of the Microlise Driver of the Year Awards ceremony, held in May. Excitement has been building leading to the announcement of the shortlistof the nine best UK truck drivers, which have just been revealed.
It’s hard to imagine that the finalists have been whittled down from no less than 180,000, a mighty feat when you consider the work that has gone into getting to this stage. An immense amount of time, effort and energy on the parts of the drivers, employers and the judging panel has gone into reaching this stage, and the awards processculminates in a prestigious black-tie dinner.
The main categories are Long, Short and Medium Distance, with the winners of each announced at the awards ceremony. The overall winner will berevealed at the Microlise Transport Conference the next day, the largest event of its kind in Europe. Haulage companies with drivers on the shortlist include DHL, Eddie Stobart, Warburtons, CEVA, Culina, Menzies, Co-op and Hovis.
Other categories that are recognised includeYoung Driver of the Year, HGV Hero and Extra Mile, with the winners of these publicised at the official dinner. These categories highlight the breadth of performanceexcellence throughout the industry and it’s a breath of fresh air to see young employeesdeveloping their skills and taking their careers in largehaulage companies so seriously.It’s equally heartening to see that thepeople who are going that extra mile to make a difference in the industry are receiving their just recognition.
How Does Judging Work?
A strict judging process is used to determine the shortlist of entrants and the ultimate winner, with judges including Motor Transport Editor, Steve Hobson, and Microlise Director of Product, Stephen Watson.
The awards are telematics-based and theshortlistswere finalised by analysing data collected throughout 2017, using Microlise telematics units.It is thanks to the expertise of the University of Nottingham’s Advanced Data Analysis Centre that a process was created allowing the data to be analysed based on a range of criteria.
For the extra categories, employers nominate their own entrants, who are then reviewed by the judges on an anonymous basis.
In total there are 24 shortlisted drivers,all of whom have been given a day out to remember: a Porsche track day. This fantastic prize isthanks to MAN Truck & Bus UK, a supporter of the awards.
What the Experts Say
The awards are growing in prestige and industry recognition, which can only be a positiveincentive for the industry as a whole. Judges this year have noted that the difference in performance data between drivers was very small, indicating that those shortlisted are of exceptional quality.
Nadeem Raza, Chief Executive of Microlise,noted a significant increase in the number of entrants in the telematics based categories, withthese results showcasing the outstanding quality of drivers in the UK.
It’s wonderful to see haulage companies growing and the overall industry thriving. It’seven more exciting for the employees, who are the backbone of an operation, to be recognised and rewarded for their hard work through important and well-received awards like this one.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies or self-employed drivers with jobs in road transport and haulage work.Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.