Liquid fuels trade association, The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) annual competition to find the finest tanker driver has been won by James Coates of Barton Petroleum Ltd, who was awarded the Driver Of The Year 2019 Award at the recent FPS EXPO.
In its 19th year, the FPS Driver Of The Year competition is sponsored by OAMPS Hazardous Industries and is designed to reward those tanker drivers who operate at the highest levels of safety, customer service and professionalism – and identifies the best driver in the UK and Republic of Ireland in the process.
James Coates of Barton Petroleum Ltd was revealed as this year’s winner during the industry event FPS EXPO 2019, chosen for his exceptional customer care and going above and beyond the call of duty.
Tony Brown, FPS Technical Manager and Driver of The Year Awards judge, says: “Every year, the standard set by all the tanker drivers is impressively high – and choosing just one winner and two runners-up is far from an easy task. However, James Coates did stand out from his rivals purely because of his extraordinary commitment to customer care.
“In the five years he’s worked for Barton Petroleum, James has always demonstrated strong customer service together with high standards of safety and expertise.
“However, there was one day early in January 2019 that elevated him above the competition and ensured the much-coveted award was his.”
Howard Marriot of Barton Petroleum Ltd comments: “We’re all so happy for James and he more than deserves the award as he works so hard and shows customers great care every day – which he impressively demonstrated in January this year, when he helped rescue a lady from the side of a busy road.
“On the day in question, following a domestic delivery, James was getting back into his tanker when he spotted an elderly lady lying face down on the pavement opposite – and immediately went to help, after first making sure his vehicle was safe. At first, the lady was unresponsive but soon came around and James reassured her she was safe – she was disorientated but insisted on standing so he steadied her to her feet.
“At this point, he made the decision to call the police as they were next to a very busy road. A neighbour also came to assist and James called his Depot Manager Rhys Williams who attended too. Whilst they were waiting for the police to arrive, James placed himself between the lady and the traffic in case she suddenly became unsteady on her feet.
“The police arrived within approximately 30 minutes and took control of the situation, thanking James for all he’d done. The neighbour rang the depot the next day to thank James personally for all his help, professional manner and sensitivity shown throughout.
“We later found out that the lady had wandered away from a local sheltered housing complex and had only been out of hospital for a few days following an operation.
“Thank goodness James had been there that day, and took such swift, caring action.”
As Driver Of The Year, James was awarded the winner’s glass trophy and £1,000 prize money. The runners-up, Kevin Kiely of Craggs Energy and Andrew Maynard of Certas Energy, were awarded the runners-up award and £250 each.
Adam Shefras of OAMPS Hazardous Industries comments: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring the Driver Of The Year competition for the 19th consecutive year. By creating a competition that encourages all tanker drivers to be the best they can be, we feel that we’re not only rewarding the drivers, but supporting the wider industry; both in the delivery of cleaner energy solutions and raising the awareness around the environmental impact of accidental spillages. As ever, we are hugely impressed by the individual winners and their attitudes.”
The Driver Of The Year Award is open to all members of the FPS to nominate their drivers, with one nomination allowed per depot. The nominated drivers must have been employed by their current company for a minimum of 12 months and had an incident-free year on the roads.
Source: Uk Haulier