Alan Cooper, a warehouse fork truck operative at Timbmet in Oxford, has won the Combilift 2008 Driver of the Year competition, held on 9th September at Combilift’s headquarters in Monaghan, Ireland.
The competition saw the participants demonstrate their ability to control and manoeuvre a C4000 Combilift on a 30 minute course devised by Combilift, together with training provider Mentor Training. Challenges included negotiating a chicane or figure of eight, picking up and manoeuvring a long load in tight aisles, positioning one stillage on top of another with the posts exactly in place, demonstrating the carousel facility of the trucks and placing a pallet within a designated boundary. Drivers also had to prove their technical knowledge of forklifts by working through a pre-operational checklist. Drivers had to complete all this against the clock, incurring penalties for unsafe operation.
Alan commented, "The competition course was tough and I knew the other finalists on the day would put me under pressure. The time challenge was compounded by at least 100 visitors watching all the finalists perform but in the end I was delighted to have incurred the least penalty points and win the trophy."
Philip Trueman, Operations Director at Timbmet added, “We are delighted with Alan’s achievement which is all the more impressive as he has only been driving this type of vehicle for just over a year. At Timbmet we have an in-house trainer and assessor, accredited by an external body, who is responsible for training and re-certificating all our plant operatives on a three year cycle. As a result he can monitor and help our drivers improve their technique on a daily basis, making Timbmet drivers the best in the business!”