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Kolanko drives off with top Microlise award

Kolanko drives off with top Microlise award

Samworth Brothers’ Rafal Kolanko has been unveiled as the 2017 Microlise Driver of the Year Award winner. Kolanko picked up his accolade at the Microlise Transport Conference, Europe’s largest road transport conference.

Following a process involving over 120,000 HGV drivers, Kolanko was shortlisted and subsequently won the medium-distance category, featuring drivers who regularly undertake a mixture of journeys and typically cover between 31,000 – 60,000 miles per year. In securing the overall prize, he also saw off competition from shortlisted and winning drivers in both the short and long categories, confirming his position as one of the UK’s leading drivers.

The short, medium and long categories are based on data collected by Microlise telematics units. Now in their third year, these telematics-based awards are defined by analysing anonymous data assessed against a range of criteria, using a process defined by the University of Nottingham’s Advanced Data Analysis Centre.

The short-distance category was won by Michael Young of Culina, with the long-distance category won by Peter Jones of Chamberlain Transport. Chamberlain Transport also won the Driver Excellence award, as a result of having the highest proportion of their drivers in the top 1,000 based on analysis of the telematics data.

The Microlise Driver of the Year Awards judging panel was made up of Bob Harbey, Executive Director, Microlise; Richard Burnett, Chief Executive, Road Haulage Association; James Hookham, Deputy Chief Executive, Freight Transport Association; Steve Hobson, Editor, Road Transport Media and Nick Welch, Head of Technical Services, RTITB.

The awards feature additional categories, based on nominations from the industry, including Extra Mile, HGV Hero, Lifetime Achievement, Most Improved and Young Driver of the Year. For these, the judges reviewed nominations which were submitted online through the Microlise Transport Conference website.

Especially noteworthy are the two winners of the HGV Hero category. John Harrington of DHL helped to save the life of an elderly gentleman suffering a heart attack after being flagged down. His counterpart at Eddie Stobart, Robert Brown, attended the scene of a road traffic collision and crawled into a smashed-up car to comfort a frightened young girl until the emergency services arrived.

“When we started the awards a few years ago, we intended to focus entirely on drivers and shine a light on the excellent work they are doing day in and day out,” said Microlise Executive Director Bob Harbey. “They really are at the heart of the transport industry and we wanted to use our unique position to review anonymous driving data from hundreds of thousands of drivers to showcase the best performers. All of the winners, those short-listed and the top thousand deserve credit for the excellent work they are doing and the way they conduct themselves.”

The shortlisted drivers across the awards were from a range of organisations including; B&Q, Bibby Distribution, Brocklesby, Ceva, Chamberlain Transport, Culina, DHL, DX Freight, Eddie Stobart, Goldstar Transport, Hovis, Muller, Royal Mail, Samworth Brothers Distribution, Tesco and Warburtons.

The full shortlist of 24 drivers, who enjoyed a Porsche track day courtesy of MAN Truck & Bus UK, are listed below including the winners for each category.


Short Distance
WINNER: Michael Young – Culina
RUNNER UP: Alan Cobb – Ceva
RUNNER UP: Anthony Fieldhouse – DX Freight

Medium Distance
OVERALL WINNER: Rafal Kolanko – Samworth Brothers
RUNNER UP: Mark Close – Brocklesby
RUNNER UP: Anthony Niles – Culina

Long Distance
WINNER: Peter Jones – Chamberlain Transport
RUNNER UP: Jason Jeffry – Goldstar Transport
RUNNER UP: John Seggons – Bibby Distribution

Driver Excellence – Sponsored by Road Haulage Association
WINNER: Chamberlain Transport

Extra Mile – Sponsored by Knorr-Bremse
WINNER: Stuart  McClellan – Bibby Distribution
RUNNER UP: Neil Salmon & Clive Everson – B&Q
RUNNER UP: Peter Cochrane – Samworth Brothers

HGV Hero – Sponsored by Dunlop
WINNER: John Harrington – DHL
WINNER: Robert Brown – Eddie Stobart

Most Improved Driver of the Year – Sponsored by Scania
WINNER: Catherine Eastbourne – Warburtons
RUNNER UP: Clive Sutton – Bibby Distribution
RUNNER UP: Michael Roberts – Royal Mail

Young Driver of the Year – Sponsored by Vodafone
WINNER: Laura Farnsworth – Samworth Brothers
RUNNER UP: Thomas Virtue – Hovis
RUNNER UP: Grszegorz Kepinski – Muller

Lifetime Achievement – Sponsored by Freight Transport Association
WINNER: Richard Ireson – Tesco
RUNNER UP: Paul Thompson – Bibby Distribution
RUNNER UP: John Seeley – Hovis

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