Lowes Petroleum, long term ACAPMA Member has recognised the professionalism of their drivers, along with their contribution to the business and their communities with their third annual Professional Driver’s Award.

With over 200 drivers transporting millions of litres of fuel a year across hundreds of thousands of kilometres of rural roads, the Lowes Petroleum Professional Drivers Award places a sharp focus on safety.

The Awards are based on a nomination and confirmation approach, where drivers are nominated by their peers and Lowes Petroleum staff.  Nominees are then considered by the judging panel against a raft of criteria including a detailed review of drive cam alerts, logbook and fatigue management as well as crossovers and exceedances.

As one of the judges, General Manager of Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Bernie Morris said while all their drivers operated to best practises, the awards were an added incentive ensuring Lowes drivers were 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 said.

“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,” Morris said.

This year saw the number of nominations continue to rise, with the number of nominees tripling since the first Awards process in 2021, building driving community engagement around not just safety culture, but also recognising the unique pressures faced by those that drive heavy vehicles for a living.

“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.

“The vision is testament to our drivers’ abilities to not only read the road, but also anticipate actions by other road users that could be dangerous.

“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.

“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.”

For winning driver, Albury’s Mick Woodham, the award speaks volumes about the company’s commitment to road safety as well as acknowledging their importance to the business.

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

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

A career driver, with more than 30 years of truck driving under his belt, Woodham said safety was always paramount, with planning around everything from weather and road conditions to rests 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 said.

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.

Congratulations Mick and Lowes Petroleum.