The hunt is on for top tanker drivers of 2019

Tanker operators throughout the UK and Ireland are being encouraged to nominate their top drivers in the latest round of a prestigious awards scheme now in its 19th year.

These annual driver-of-the-year awards are run, with sponsorship from the OAMPS Hazardous Industries of the Pen Underwriting insurance group, by the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), a Solihull, West Midlands-based trade association representing about 80% of all oil distribution companies in the UK and Ireland.

The closing date for entries to this year’s FPS driver awards is 11 March. Award winners will be presented with their prizes, including £1,000 for the winner, at the FPS Expo 2019 show in Liverpool on 15 and 16 May.

“These awards give recognition to drivers of fuel tankers and to staff at fuel distributors for their hard work and dedication to meeting the high standards set by legislative authorities,” says FPS chief executive Guy Pulham.

“This award presents an opportunity for drivers who have performed above and beyond the call of duty to be recognised and rightly rewarded,” says OAMPS (UK) senior account executive Graham Smerdon.

Top prize last year went to Clifford Tappin, a driver working for Lovell Fuels of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. The two runners-up in 2018 were James Flynn of Lancashire-based Ribble Fuel Oils and Bernhard Fuller of New Era Fuels in Essex.

“Impressive commitment to the job” was what made Tappin stand out, according to FPS technical manager and driver awards judge Tony Brown.

“His driving professionalism, quality of work, customer care and motivation are inspiring to witness,” says Brown. “Nothing is too much trouble for him. He always completes his workload and then is happy to take on more.

“He takes great care of customers, and is proactive with sales for new customers, winning them over and then working hard to keep them happy with their chosen products and services.”

Fuel distribution depots which have passed an audit in the past twelve months under the FPS depot certification scheme are automatically entered into the “depot of the year” scheme run in parallel with the FPS driver awards.

“The audits cover 15 sections, including yard and tank storage, health and safety management, transport and environmental management,” says Brown.

“In addition, as part of the audit, we examine how the depot is performing against expected industry standards, knowledge of depot staff and site maintenance records.”

More information at the FPS website.

Tim Blakemore
Tim Blakemore is an award-winning automotive journalist and the former editor of our sister title, Commercial Vehicle Engineer magazine. He is also the UK representative on the panel of judges for the biennial, pan-European Trailer Innovation Award scheme.

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