The RTITB has announced the dates and locations for the National Finals of the RTITB and Sumoglove Operator of the Year Competition 2011. In another major development, Toyota Material Handling UK has been confirmed as a Platinum sponsor of the Competition, and has agreed to supply the trucks for the events as well as hosting the Northern England Final at its Castleford depot.

As advertised in this issue, the Northern England Final takes place on Wednesday 20 April at Toyota Material Handling UK, Castleford; the Scotland Final is Wednesday 4 May at GTG Training, Glasgow; Ireland is Wednesday 18 May, at Daralinn Health & Safety, Dublin; Wales is Wednesday 1st June at DLT Training, Bridgend; and the Midlands & Southern England Final is on Wednesday 15 June, at TNT’s Kingsbury Link. 12 finalists will take part in each final, and the RTITB is currently contacting the successful finalists who have qualified in the online selection process.

As part of its Platinum Sponsorship, the competition will provide Toyota with a unique opportunity to align themselves and their brand with a nationally recognised lift truck safety competition, seen by the industry as an innovative way to showcase effective training and pay respect to skilled operators. They will also receive a tailored package of promotion for their products/services, to include national, local and trade press advertising as well as inclusion in all of RTITB’s competition marketing.

Laura Nelson, RTITB Operations Director, said: “We are very pleased to announce Toyota as a platinum sponsor. Toyota are accredited with RTITB for their lift truck operator training, and their sponsorship of the competition highlights how seriously they value safety, and training. It will be a fantastic opportunity for the competitors to operate a brand new Toyota electric forklift truck which includes exclusive technology that virtually eliminates the risk of a truck tipping over or of loads slipping off the forks. We are all looking forward to working with Toyota to create an event that exceeds all industry expectations.”

Toyota Material Handling is the world’s number one fork lift manufacturer: Toyota is one of the group’s best performers in Europe, enjoying significant growth in all business areas in 2010.

“When RTITB approached us to support the Competition,” says Tony Wallis, Toyota Material Handling’s Operations Director, “it was an excellent way of endorsing our support for businesses to drive down costs, by linking with another strong UK brand and supporting a programme that focused on good practice. We continually tell customers that some of the largest contributors to materials handling costs are the operators, through damage to equipment and goods, and accidents in the workplace. Helping raise awareness and support for good operator driving techniques will underline everything the Toyota brand stands for in terms of health and safety in the workplace.”

During its sponsorship of the Competition, Toyota will also be promoting its Pride in Performance package, designed to reduce accidents and damage caused by operators and save industry thousands of pounds per year. You can order a copy of Pride in Performance at

Tony Wallis has allocated day-to-day responsibility for Toyota’s involvement in the RTITB Competition to Toyota’s Training Academy Team, which carries out all Toyota’s forklift operator training. The sponsorship will involve many areas of Toyota’s business, as it is hosting the Northern England Finals and supporting the others. “We have a huge focus on driver training and all our European businesses support endorsed driver training programmes, either in house or outsourced by nominated suppliers.”

Toyota’s Training Academy can provide operator training either on site or at one of its prestige facilities.

Toyota has been developing a close relationship with the RTITB over many years. Tony Wallis continues: “RTITB is a UK leader in developing people and promoting workplace safety. We have a similar determination to help business by focusing on safe operator practice, so this alignment was a natural development, which will grow as we become more involved. We have already supplied equipment to help RTITB develop training videos, and have exciting plans to take this further in the next two years.

“As Operations Director, part of my role is to ensure we communicate the benefits of a holistic approach to materials handling. Buying the product is only the start of the relationship: support during the lifetime ownership of the asset is critical. This competition gives us a huge opportunity to talk direct to operators and owners, understand their real problems, and explore how we can adapt and support them. We also have an opportunity to highlight the driving characteristics and in-built safety features of the Toyota Forklifts, which can reduce accidents.

“But what I’m looking to most of all is seeing the look on the winner’s face when they know they have earned the right to be named Operator of the Year, and as Operations Director, knowing that we at Toyota have had a part to play in increasing visibility of the fantastic job these people do in our business and the workplace.”


Tel: 01952 520218


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