Drivers from Samworth Brothers Supply Chain are holding a double celebration this week, after winning two major transport awards.


Thomas Kent achieved overall first place in the Freight Transport Association Driver of the Year 44 tonne competition, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Trucks, while Reece Cornelius was named FTA Young Driver of the Year award in the same category.  Both drivers demonstrated outstanding professionalism, knowledge and excellent driving skills during the finals of the contest.


The competition took place at Mercedes-Benz, Wentworth Park, Barnsley, with each driver taking part in six separate tasks to evaluate their overall ability – driving style, economical driving, manoeuvring, defect checking, knowledge of legislation and risk awareness.  The 12 finalists, who had each been nominated by their fleet manager, were individually scored on each task, ranked on their performance and the overall winner was announced based on the scores. 


Mike Belk, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK said:

“Truck drivers are the lifeblood of the road haulage industry, and the drivers who took part in the FTA 44t Driver of the Year competition are a fantastic advertisement for the logistics sector. Every single one deserves praise and recognition, and we’d particularly like to congratulate the winners.

“Mercedes-Benz Trucks champions driver efficiency and road safety, and the winners have shown themselves to be exceptionally proficient in both elements. These professionals – and their employers – can be proud of their achievements. Many congratulations to them all.”

Earlier this week Steve Mumford of BT Supply Chain won the FTA Van Excellence Driver of the Year competition sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd and Craig Stewart from Clarke International became the overall champion in the 18 tonne competition sponsored by Bridgestone.

Other winners from the 44 tonne contest were:


2nd place – Lee Graves of WH Bowker

3rd place – Malcolm Roberts of BOTT Ltd


Winners of the individual tasks during the 44 tonne contest were:

Risk assessment supported by Licence Bureau – Thomas Kent of Samworth Brothers Supply Chain

Legislation test – Thomas Kent of Samworth Brothers Supply Chain

Pre-use defect check supported by Bridgestone Partners – Vincent Clarke of Booker Ltd

Manoeuvring– Simon Blurton of NFT Distribution

Economical driving supported by Signal Vehicle Solutions – Lee Graves of WH Booker

Driving Style supported by Fleetboard – Karl Barman of Viamaster Transport


The winners of all three contests – Van, 18 tonne and 44 tonne – will be assessed, and the overall winner of the prestigious FTA Driver of the Year 2017 title will be revealed at the Transport Manager Conference at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on 29 November.  For more information about the conference, and to book a place, please visit