Veolia announces its ‘Driver of the Year’

Winners announced from 38 finalists for Driver of the Year competition

Veolia Environmental Services, the UK’s leading recycling and waste management company has announced the winners of its 2011 Driver of the Year competition. The contest saw 38 finalists, battling it out as their driving skills and technical knowledge were put to the test.

David Gerrard, based at Veolia’s Merseyside Huyton depot was crowned ‘Driver of the Year’ in the articulated category, and Carl Wells based at its Lincoln depot was awarded the title for the rigid.  A new category was launched in this year’s competition to drivers of 3.5 – 7.5 tonne vehicles and Brian Cornford at Veolia’s Hastings depot was crowned this title. All winners received a trophy and holiday vouchers of up to £2500.

Veolia launched the competition last year to acknowledge the important role drivers play in the front-line of customer services and representing the company - 121 qualified for the regional heats and 38 made it through to the final.

The finalists, who were supported by family and friends, took part in a challenging day held at Wentworth Park in Barnsley. A team of independent judges assessed them in three key areas; on road challenge, fault clinic and obstacle test. The on road challenge assessed their driving skills while out on the public road. The fault clinic tested observation skills and required the drivers to carry out a walk-round check of a vehicle within a set timeframe of 10 minutes and the obstacle assessment tested reverse and forward manoeuvring skills.

Tom Spaul, chief operating officer at Veolia Environmental Services said: “Our drivers are great brand ambassadors by driving our vehicles safely and competently on roads right across the country every single day. After last year’s competition we were excited to open up a new category (3.5-7.5 tonnes) to include even more drivers from our fleet. I felt proud to attend the Driver of the Year grand final day and present the winners with their prizes. Congratulations to all who entered this year!”

Carl Wells, Driver, Veolia Environmental Services Lincoln depot said:
“It means a lot to be announced as a Driver of the Year and it is great to know that the work I do is to a high standard. Hopefully I will get through to next year’s grand final!”