The Freight Transport Association will be holding its first Van Excellence Driver of the Year contest on Thursday 10 July 2014 – day one of DRIVEIt@Bruntingthorpe, the major new event (June 10th, 11th & 12th 2014) for van operators. DRIVEIt@Bruntingthorpe will also claim a world first when the entire new Ford Transit range – Transit Custom, Transit Connect, Transit 2-tonne and Transit Courier – will be available for the first time to compare and test-drive, back-to-back, with models from other major competitors including Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Isuzu and DSFK
Renault’s new Trafic will be available to test as will the three brand new vehicles from Citroen, Peugeot and Fiat that are produced under a long-standing joint agreement. It will be the first opportunity for most van operators to get behind the wheel of the Relay, Boxer and Ducato. Isuzu Truck will have its new Euro 6 model available while Isuzu Pick-up will be showing off the new D-Max rapid response fire truck and cherry-picker models that made their debut at the recent CV Show at the NEC. DSFK, one of the newer manufacturers in the UK market, will have its compact Loadhopper models available for evaluation.
LCV manufacturers have queued up to exhibit their latest, advanced-technology models at the event. DRIVEIt@Bruntingthorpe has been conceived to bring together buyers and sellers at one ideal venue that provides the opportunity to test-drive all the vehicles as well as show-casing all the latest van equipment and accessories.
“Throughout the three days, manufacturers of vans, car-derived vans, 4x4s, pick-up trucks, panel vans, chassis cabs – in fact everything that is a light commercial or light goods vehicle – will be giving van users, big or small, the opportunity to test drive their latest models at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground,” explained event organiser, Rob James. “Suppliers of racking, shelving, vehicle livery, fuel cards, accessories, roof racks, trailers, telematics, service, maintenance and repair will be showing and demonstrating all that’s new in their market too. In short, from buying to disposal – and everything in between – will be on show at DRIVEit@Bruntingthorpe
“And we’re delighted that the FTA’s first Van Excellence Driver of the Year contest takes place on day one. The contest is open to Van Excellence accredited operators, who have been invited to enter their best driver. The events for the day are designed to test the entrants’ abilities across a wide range of skills, and include a fuel economy run, driver behavioural feedback, risk awareness, pre-use defect checking and a knowledge test.”
Mark Cartwright, the FTA’s head of vans, says the competition is extremely important. “It gives us a terrific opportunity to show this vital sector of UK logistics in a positive light, and gain van drivers the recognition they deserve for their skill and the importance of the job they do.” Van Excellence is an industry-led initiative, which aims to enhance standards of van operator compliance, celebrate operators who demonstrate excellence and represent the interests of the van industry. Membership of Van Excellence is open to all operators of vehicles of 3.5-tonne GVW or less.
And DRIVEIt@Bruntingthorpe is open to anyone, from corner-shop-keepers with one van to supermarket transport managers with mega-fleets, says Rob James. “There’s something there for everyone!”. Admission is free. Pre-registration, which avoids queuing on the day, is at http://www.driveitat.com/event/driveit-bruntingthorpe-2014/
Although tickets are FREE, there are qualifying criteria:
- First, if you want to drive, you need to be over 18 and hold a full UK Driving Licence WHICH YOU MUST BRING WITH YOU to the event (with Category C entitlement if you wish to drive anything heavier than 3.5 tonne).
- Secondly, upon arrival you will need to present your signed indemnity form along with your ticket and UK Driving Licence.
David Walton, managing director of Bruntingthorpe Proving ground, says it’s a huge tribute to the company’s events team that Driving Events & Video Limited chose to hold the inaugural DRIVEIt@ event at Bruntingthorpe. “It’s also recognition of our ability to accommodate large gatherings of people and vehicles… We are looking forward to welcoming this new ‘hands-on’ show – and its many visitors – to what the organisers clearly believe is the ideal location. As with many of the events held here, it will bring a wide range of opportunities for local business and commerce including hotels, caterers and material suppliers. And we hope that it will become a regular in the calendar of important automotive industry exhibitions.”
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