Gary Bellamy (pictured) from Forterra Building Products has been named the Lifetime Achievement winner in this year’s Microlise Driver of The Year Awards.
The nomination-based awards received more entries than ever before and telematics-based categories contained an initial eligible pool of over 225,000 drivers.
The 2020 winners triumphed after a process of rigorous data analysis, corroboration by employers and assessment by an independent judging panel.
Bellamy was just 15 when he joined the Transport Department of London Brick Company (now a part of Forterra Building Products Ltd) as an apprentice mechanical engineer. He passed his HGV driving test and became part of a team responsible for going out to vehicles that needed repairing or recovering. In 1981, Garry took the opportunity to become a full-time delivery driver and has remained one ever since.
Microlise said Bellamy had experienced a lot of change during his 39-year driving career – and during his 50-plus years with Forterra – and has worked to continuously improve and upgrade his skills.
When he first started driving, trucks were equipped with little more than a crash gearbox and a steering wheel. Today technology plays a central role via telematics, driving style analysis and engine management systems. He has adapted to all these changes and has remained a popular and highly dependable team member throughout.
Commented Microlise chief executive Nadeem Raza: “The Microlise Driver of the Year Awards uncover fantastic drivers who have stories that highlight the sheer hard work, dedication and single-minded professionalism that is needed to excel in this industry. This is something we have always championed with our awards initiative recognising the industry’s highest achievers.”
The independent judging panel this year included RHA chief executive Richard Burnett; the former Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, Joan Aitken; board advisor to London Ambulance Service and Transport Focus, Theo De Pencier; Dougie Rankine, editor, Road Transport Media; and executive director of Microlise, Bob Harbey.
“The standard of entries was simply outstanding and a true credit to all those nominated,” Harbey said. “All of our shortlisted drivers could have been worthy winners. Although for many, it has regrettably taken a global crisis to highlight the critical role of drivers, it remains our privilege to take part in recognising the best HGV drivers who perform their role with such commitment and expertise and literally keep our economy moving.”