The RTITB Operator of the Year Competition Welsh National Final took place last week on Wednesday 1st June; the event was hosted by DLT Training Ltd in Bridgend.

The competitors took part in two practical tests (The BBC and The Platinum Ring), a pre use check and a theory test, and they were marked on a “penalties” basis, the competitor with the lowest number of penalties after all finalists had completed the tests was crowned Scottish National Champion.

The event was attended by employers, accredited organisations, instructors and the general public all of whom expressed that they had thoroughly enjoyed the day. Entertainment was provided alongside the testing for all attendees. There was a caricature artist there for all visitors to take away a special memento of the day, and a Nintendo Wii competition to which a prize was presented for the fastest lap.

The day concluded with the announcement of the Welsh National Champion by Jane Lassey, HSE’s Head of Operations, Field Operation Directorate in Wales, who gave a very informative speech about Health and Safety in the workplace before congratulating all of the competitors, employers and training organisations that were present on the day and represented the industry so well.

John Thomas from Newport was crowned as the Welsh National Champion. John is employed by TESCO Plc and was trained by I.T.S. UK Ltd. The champion received a red Buyagift voucher and a trophy sponsored by Toyota Material Handling UK, he will also go forward to the Grand Final on Friday 16th September where he will compete for the chance to be RTITB Operator of the Year 2011. John highlighted how much he had enjoyed the day; “It was fun, I just did what I do, drive how I usually do, I’m very happy to have won”. When asked about progressing to the Grand final he said he was “very nervous…I’m hopeful, no, I’m adamant to win, I want that car!”. Clearly with standards as high as his, he must surely have strong chances.

The 1st runner up on the day was announced as Steve Roberts, from Wrexham was trained by Gatewen Training Ltd. He received an orange Buyagift voucher and will also go through to the grand final.

The 2nd runner up was Scot Viner who is trained by the hosts DLT Training Ltd, and employed by the Royal Mint. He received a jade Buyagift voucher. All competitors were given certificates on the day to highlight their achievement of getting through to the National Final stage.

The RTITB Operator of the Year 2011 is sponsored by Toyota Material Handling UK and TNT Express Services UK and Ireland.

The trucks that were used in the finalist testing were supplied by Toyota Material Handling UK and were Toyota 7FBMF electric powered counterbalance trucks, with a 3 ton lift capacity and a 4.3m FSV mast.

The logistics for the event were supplied by TNT Express Services UK & Ireland and was driven by their Fleet Driver of the Year.

The 3 other National Finals take place as follows;

18th May 2011 – Irish National Final

1st June 2011 – Welsh National Final

15th June 2011 – Midlands & Southern England National Final

The National Finals are open to the public; however attendance (via should be registered in advance as places are limited.

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