Imperial Logistics won the lion’s share of awards at the 2019 Shell Professional Driver of the Year Competition and the exceptional skill of the company’s Lion Mdhuli netted him the prestigious Driver of the Year Award.
This annual event recognises South Africa’s most competent and skilful heavy vehicle operators. This year’s competition took place at the Road Traffic Inspectorate’s premises at Umdloti in KwaZulu-Natal, where drivers representing the industry’s leading transporters were evaluated for their practical skills and theoretical knowledge.
“The carefully selected Imperial Logistics team competed in various categories, including the Rigid and Drawbar and Truck with Semi-Trailer,” explains Nico van der Westhuizen, CEO of Imperial Logistics South Africa. “In addition to having their theoretical knowledge tested, drivers were required to demonstrate their ability to manoeuvre the heavy vehicles safely through a carefully designed obstacle course. The competition also consisted of a road test in which drivers had to negotiate various challenging conditions and terrains.”
A new category introduced to the competition for the first time this year was the Best Driver Trainer Award. “The competing driver trainers were required to demonstrate their subject knowledge and facilitation skills through a short presentation to a panel of judges,” van der Westhuizen reveals.
When the winners of the rigorous tests were announced, top honours went to Imperial Logistics, with the competition’s most prized accolade, the overall Driver of the Year Award, presented to Lion Mdhuli of Tanker Services, Alberton. He also won the obstacle course and road test category.
In the theory test, first place was awarded to Faeem Bedi of Tanker Services, Island View. His Island View colleague Zain Dawood netted second place in this category.
Reggie Naidoo of Tanker Services, Island View took fourth place in the obstacle course and road test. Johannes Arpin of Tanker Services, Kroonstad was named Driver Trainer of the Year.
Proving that Imperial’s leadership is also committed to exceptional driving, Darshan Moodaly, Fuel & Gas operations director, won first place in the Shell VIP Light Motor Vehicle category.
“Our hard work and dedication really paid off this year. These accolades are a testimony to Imperial’s deep commitment to the safety of all road users and an acknowledgement of the dedication and skill of our drivers,” van der Westhuizen concludes.