Drivers from Gist and DHL Supply Chain have won the nomination-based categories for Young Driver and Most Improved Driver in the Microlise Driver of The Year Awards 2021.
With nomination-based awards receiving more entries than ever before and telematics based categories containing an initial eligible pool of over 252,000 drivers, 2021 winners have triumphed after a rigorous data analysis process, corroboration by employers and assessment by an independent judging panel.
Agata Makowska from Gist has emerged as the top Young Driver for 2021. With just a year and 10 months of driving experience (and a total of three years working for Gist), Agata travels across the south of England performing up to ten drops a day, delivering milk, fresh and ambient products to Starbucks stores. Agata’s reliability, conscientious and professional behaviour has ensured that she has developed a really positive relationship with her customer.
A product of Gist’s internal driver apprenticeship scheme, Agata would love to see more young women enter the profession: “Every day is different. I never know what to expect on the road – it keeps you alert and busy. To win this award sets an example to all young drivers, that regardless of gender, and with the right training and encouragement, you really can thrive in a fast-moving environment like this and pursue a successful career as a driver”.
The winner of the Most Improved category, Stephen Smith’s driving performance improvements saw him notch up 110,905 kms in his company vehicle last year while returning an overall driver rating of A with a return of 4.42kmsl fuel consumption.
A former Grenadier Guard, Steve joined DHL Supply Chain in 2004 as a trunk driver. He spent some time also working as a Multi-drop Home Delivery Driver before returning to the company’s trunking operation in 2017. Steve uses a wagon and drag combination, travelling between Tredegar, Gwent and Marsh Leys in Bedfordshire.
Steve was involved in a traumatic, fatal RTC in October 2017, for which he was not at fault as the third-party driver was regrettably deceased when his vehicle collided with Steve’s. Although not physically injured, Steve was off work with trauma for several months, but since his return he has continued to show that he is a truly professional driver and a hugely reliable colleague during a particularly challenging trading period throughout 2020.
The awards were assessed this year by an independent judging panel including Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association, Richard Burnett; Editor of Motor Transport, Steve Hobson; the Traffic Commissioner for London & SE England Sarah Bell; Executive Director of Microlise, Bob Harbey and Head of Talent & Operations, Road to Logistics, Jennifer Swain.
Richard Burnett summed up the sentiment of all the judges, “I’m proud to have been on the judging panel of the Microlise Driver of the Year Awards since their inception back in 2014. In fact I think it was one of my first tasks when I became RHA chief executive. Since then I have seen the calibre of nominees rise to the point where I now firmly believe that those entering the awards really do represent the best in the business. And at a time when the sector is suffering from such a massive driver shortage, the winners, past, present and future, are perfect ambassadors for the industry that our entire economy and population relies upon.”
Driven by safety to provide industry-leading, integrated fleet technology, Microlise is one of the UK’s market leaders across HGV telematics, with a current installed base of over 500,000 global assets.
With an established position in the grocery and food service sectors, Microlise currently supports grocery retailers representing a share of more than 88% of the UK market and works with industry heavyweights such as MAN Truck & Bus and JCB.
Further information on Microlise can be found at www.microlise.com.