Chris Harris, a driver for British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, has picked up the keys to a brand-new R 450 Next Generation Scania truck. Harris, who is based at the company’s Waltham Point Regional Distribution Centre, secured the daily use of the Scania vehicle for the next four years by winning this year’s prestigious Sainsbury’s Driver of the Year competition.

Chris Harris, Sainsbury’s Driver of the Year, 2017 for Scania GB.

To take the prize, Chris had to fend off challenges from almost 600 colleagues and succeed at local, regional and national levels.

“It was a tough contest, for sure, and I was really relieved to finally win,” said Harris, 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!”

(Pictured, left to right) Andrew Turner, Scania National Fleet Manager; Andrew Turner, Sainsbury’s Regional Operations Manager; Chris Harris, Sainsbury’s Driver of the Year 2017; Simone Curtis, General Manager of Sainsbury’s Waltham Point Regional Distribution Centre.

The Sainsbury’s Driver of the Year competition involves a series of demanding tests, beginning with the monitoring of participating drivers’ performance 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.

Harris excelled in tests at local, regional and national levels to win the new R 450 Next Generation Scania truck.

“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,” said Martin Wilkinson, Sainsbury’s Regional Operations Manager. “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.”

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