Lowes crowns its best drivers for 2023

Lowes Petroleum acknowledges drivers who pride themselves on impeccable road safety in 2023 awards

Fuel transport company Lowes Petroleum has announced the winners of its third annual Professional Driver’s Awards.

Lowes has more than 200 drivers transporting millions of litres of fuel per year across rural roads.

The awards recognise the drivers most committed to road safety, with drivers awarded based on drive cam alert reviews, logbooks, fatigue breaches and incidents like crossovers and speeding.

Drivers were nominated by their peers, with nominations tripling since their inception in 2021.

Lowes health, safety, security and environment manager Bernie Morris says the awards are an added incentive to ensure the drivers are the best in the business.

“We assess the nature of the nominations around customer service, the care drivers showed for their vehicles, the commitment to their depots and to the team they work with,” he says.

“The priority is always safety. In one instance of dash cam footage, you can see a motorcycle barely missing a fuel tanker head-on after breaking multiple road rules.

“It’s crazy what our drivers go through. We have even had footage where it is obvious the person has pretty much fallen asleep before waking in the nick of time.”

Morris the drivers’ abilities to read the road and anticipate other road users is high-quality.

“Most of us go to work each day knowing that our immediate workspace is a safe environment for us to work in. Our drivers don’t have that luxury: everyday road conditions, the weather, vehicle issues and the public create dangerous work environments,” he says.

“As a heavy vehicle operator, we are made to plan: we plan our stops, we plan when our drivers sleep, all of that, but other people just jump in their cars and off they go. Our drivers make hundreds of risk decisions daily to ensure that they, and others around them, remain safe.”

Albury’s Mick Woodham was crowned the winning driver for 2023, saying the award shows the company’s commitment to road safety and acknowledgment of the importance of drivers.

“I was pretty impressed, to be honest, that the company did these awards,” Woodham says.

“I didn’t really know much about them and was blown away because I didn’t expect it. I really appreciated receiving it.”

As a career driver with more than 30 years’ experience, Woodham says safety remains important and starts with planning from the weather and road conditions to rest stops to manage fatigue.

“In a day in the life of driving trucks you don’t know what you will encounter whether that is animals on the road or motorists overtaking recklessly,” he says.

The other winners include Mick Low from Mareeba Depot for Region 1, Steve Tatum from St George Depot for Region 2, Adrian Curtis from Cooma NSW for Region 3 and Matthew Denholm from Hobart Depot for Region 5.

Honourable mentions go to Peter Lynn Region 1 Mackay, David Causley from Grafton for Region 2, Tim Dowling from Penrith for Region 3, Luke Lacey from Yarraville Victoria for Region 4 and Douglas Fraser from Burnie Tasmania, Region 5.

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