Sainsbury’s driver Chris Harris, who is based at the company’s Waltham Point Regional Distribution Centre, has picked up the keys to the brand new R 450 Next Generation Scania truck he has secured the daily use of for the next four years by winning this year’s prestigious Sainsbury’s Driver of the Year competition
To take the prize, Chris had to fend off challenges from almost 600 colleagues and succeed at local, regional and national level. “It was a tough contest, for sure, and I was really relieved to finally win,” says Chris, who finished as runner-up last year and in third place overall in 2014. “I made a commitment to myself to win, and this year I did it. What do I think of the prize? – it’s gorgeous. I’ve had lots of phone calls from colleagues congratulating me, and everyone around here is drooling – it’s a great feeling!”
The Sainsbury’s Driver of the Year competition involves a series of demanding tests which begins with participating drivers’ performance being monitored for a month. After that, the top scorers sit a theory test, followed by a hazard perception session, from which three drivers from each depot are selected to go forward to the national final.
The national final is a two day event which tests drivers skills in both on and off road conditions in a variety of vehicles together with an economy trial, a number of track-based activities and a manoeuvring and vehicle defect challenge.
“Now in its ninth year, the Sainsbury’s Driver of the Year is a demanding competition, which thoroughly tests our drivers in a wide range of situations,” says Sainsbury’s Regional Operations Manager, Martin Wilkinson. “As such, it’s an event which recognises and celebrates the professionalism of driver colleagues throughout our network.
“I am delighted for Chris, who has deservedly won a place in the national final for the past three years. That consistency is a testament to his driving skills. I’m extremely proud for him from both a regional and local perspective and, as our event is open to our third party logistics providers, it’s great to see a Sainsbury’s driver come out on top.”