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The hard-fought contest, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and held at the manufacturer’s facility at Wentworth Park, Barnsley, examined contestants’ driving skills (fuel economy and driver behaviour), manoeuvring ability, risk awareness, legislative knowledge and their ability to identify pre-use defects of the vehicle. Drivers were scored on each task and ranked based on their scores.

Matthew received his trophy from Sam Whittaker, director of customer service and operations from Mercedes-Benz Trucks. He also picked up the prizes for the pre-use defect check and economical driving tasks.

FTA’s Julie Maddocks told contestants: “We know from talking to our members – and you the drivers – how the vital role you play in delivering the goods is all too often overlooked, so this competition has been created to celebrate the skills and abilities of professional drivers across the freight and logistics sector and highlight the fantastic work you do on a day-to-day basis.”

Following its Van Excellence Driver of the Year events in 2014 and 2015, FTA introduced three separate contests this year celebrating the skills and abilities of professional drivers across the freight and logistics sector.  

The winners’ presentation was broadcast live on Facebook and a video of the day can be seen on FTA’s YouTube channel.

The overall winner of the contest will be revealed at the Freight in the City expo at Alexandra Palace on November 2.