Background Information to the Driver of the Year Competition
The immediate purpose of the competition is to find the best heavy motor
vehicle drivers in various categories. The long- term aim of the competition is
to stimulate driver education in Southern Africa and improve the standard of
heavy motor vehicle driving.
Many companies have already experienced the fact that money spent on the
proper training of drivers has proved to be a very good investment. Damage to
vehicles and equipment, high fuel consumption and loss of man hours can
effectively be counteracted by skilled and competent drivers. Participation in
this competition provides an ideal opportunity for employers to compare not only
the abilities of their own drivers with other drivers in the industry.
The possibilities of being recognized in an internal competition not only as
the best driver in the company but also as provincial, national an international
ambassador, should indeed be strong motivation for every driver to improve
his/her standard and knowledge of driving. The benefits for the employer and for
road safety are obvious.
To qualify for the competition, a competitor should be in possession of a
valid drivers license and an un-endorsed professional drivers permit. No driver
instructors may participate.
There are three categories:
- Rigid – minimum length 7metres.
- Bus – minimum length 9 metres.
- Articulated – minimum length 10 metres.
In-company competition: Every employer selects his best drivers by organizing
an in house competition. These drivers then enter for the regional competition.
Regional/Provincial Competition: Regional competitions were held in the four
regions, Empangeni, Ladysmith, Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Two winners of each
category will compete in the provincial competition. With the current National
winner, Mr Wally Gumede in the articulated category, defending his title. There
will also be a separate bus category for female drivers.
The provincial team to go to the National competitions will
comprise of six members, consisting of two in each category plus 2 female
contestants and one manager. One member of the team will be selected as team
There are four tests that the drivers have to complete:
Track test – this tests the drivers ability to
manouevre a vehicle in a confined space.
Road test – here the drivers attitude and ability to
drive safely and correctly according to recognized defensive methods as well
as correct handling of the vehicle is evaluated.
Theory test – a test will be conducted to test the
drivers knowledge of road situations; education and rules of the road and
Pre-trip inspection – this consists of a physical
inspection of the vehicle to test the drivers knowledge and habits regarding
roadworthiness of the vehicles. The driver has to compete this test within 8