Asda driver scoops Van Excellence Driver award

London, UK: Chris Shenton of Asda and Alex Tilley of Moy Park are celebrating being named the Van Excellence Driver of the Year and Young Driver of the Year 2019 sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans.

The awards recognise these unsung heroes of our economy, said Mark Cartwright, head of vans, Freight transport Association, which administers the Van Excellence scheme.

“These awards provide us the opportunity to celebrate the unsung heroes of Britain: the dedicated and highly accomplished drivers keeping businesses of all sectors trading.”

“Van driving is a challenging task; it is both mentally and physically demanding. Drivers must draw from several skills sets on a daily basis, including time management, legislative knowledge, mechanical insight, technical driving skill, as well the ability to lift heavy goods and walk vast distances. It is vitally important that the complexity of their roles, as well as the value they provide, is recognised on a national level, Cartwright said.
 
“The aim of the Van Excellence scheme is to raise compliance levels across the industry, and each of today’s finalists has shown what can be achieved with determination and hard work. The very best van operators must be rewarded for their professionalism and high standards. We are honoured to have this platform to recognise and reward these talented individuals – they should all be very proud of their achievements.”
 
Shenton and Alex Tilley were pitted against 12 other finalists to complete of a set of tasks which covered all areas of their roles, including legislation, driving skills, risk assessment, and vehicle defect identification. 

“This competition shows the depth of skill and knowledge required to become a competent van driver; we hope these awards inspire a new generation to discover this rewarding and challenging career path,” Cartwright said.

Third place was presented to Luke Howarth of Alliance Healthcare and Daniel Mackenzie of Scottish Water secured second place.

Additional awards were presented to winners of particular skills tests: 
Economical driving, sponsor Quartix: Daniel Mackenzie, Scottish Water
Driving style, sponsor Hertz: Daniel Mackenzie, Scottish Water
Legislation test, sponsor Bott: Lee Magri, Kelly Fleet Services
Pre-use defect check, sponsor Lex Autolease: Daniel Mackenzie, Scottish Water
Manoeuvring, sponsor Brigade Electronics: Lee McCafferty, Greencore
Risk assessment, sponsor McCarron Coates: Garry Spiller, Asda
 
The shortlist features expert drivers from Asda, Alliance Healthcare, Scottish Water, Fleet Solutions by BT, Greencore, Elis, Kelly Fleet Services, Amey, G4S Cash Solutions, Moy Park and Ringtons.
 
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, (www.vanexcellence.co.uk) a set of minimum best practice standards all van operators should aspire to achieve, covering safety, efficiency and sustainability.
 

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