Garry Bellamy of Forterra has won the lifetime achievement award. He was just fifteen when he joined the Transport Department of London Brick Company (now a part of Forterra Building Products) as an apprentice mechanical engineer. He passed his HGV driving test and became part of a team responsible for going out to vehicles that needed repairing or recovering. In 1981, Garry took the opportunity to become a full-time delivery driver and has remained one ever since.
Bellamy has experienced a lot of change during his 39-year driving career (and during his 50-plus years with Forterra) and has worked to continuously improve and upgrade his skills. When he first started driving, trucks were equipped with little more than a crash gearbox and a steering wheel. Today technology plays a central role with telematics, driving style analysis, and engine management systems underpinning life on the road. Bellamy has adapted to all these changes, taking them all in his stride, and has remained a popular and highly dependable team member throughout.
Dimka Ivanova of Boughey Distribution has won the award for most improved driver. Ivanova only joined Boughey Distribution a little over a year ago and has already demonstrated a 100% improvement in driving performance. According to her operations director, Ivanova is currently delivering a level of improved fuel usage that is exceptional for a day driver. Representing all that is good about 21st century drivers, Ivanova is described as being conscientious and calm, taking everything in her stride. She works to be the best she can be, listens to advice and acts on it. She also makes full use of the flexibility of a driving career to suit her lifestyle and family and childcare needs.
The other winners have not yet been named.
According to chief executive of Microlise Nadeem Raza, the judges relished their role in finalising the nomination category winners. “The Microlise Driver of the Year Awards uncover fantastic drivers who have stories that highlight the sheer hard work, dedication and single-minded professionalism that is needed to excel in this industry. This is something we have always championed with our awards initiative recognising the industry’s highest achievers.”
The awards were judged by an independent panel.
One of the panellists, Microlise executive director Bob Harbey, said: “The standard of entries was simply outstanding and a true credit to all those nominated. All of our shortlisted drivers could have been worthy winners. Although for many, it has regrettably taken a global crisis to highlight the critical role of drivers, it remains our privilege to take part in recognising the best HGV drivers who perform their role with such commitment and expertise and literally keep our economy moving.”