The 2012 winner of Young European Truck Driver competition, Gabriel Warde of Ireland, now has a brand new Scania truck parked by his home near Galway.
On hand to deliver the prize truck in Dublin was Leo Varadkar, the Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. “Congratulations to Gabriel for coming first out of 17,000 drivers from 24 European countries,” says Minister Leo Varadkar. “Safety is of paramount importance for hauliers, and in winning this award Gabriel has shown that Irish truck operators have the capacity to achieve the highest of standards.”
Equally thrilled at the handover was Joe Crann, Managing Director, Westward Scania. “We are naturally delighted that the winner is an Irishman. When we accompanied him to Sweden for the final competition, we were confident that Gabriel was the number one driver. He kept a cool head throughout all the different stages and his hard work paid off in the end.”
Gabriel Warde has now returned home to Loughrea with his truck, which is securely parked in his back yard. “It’s a grand sight and a real showpiece,” he says. The entire family with wife Laura and their four children Cian, Sheena, Ethan and Darren have all taken a drive in the new white Scania R500 LA4x2. “They were thrilled, of course.”
He is now considering how to put the truck to the best use. At present, he is set to continue his employment at Cummer Transport, which delivers milk in County Galway. ”I enjoy my work and am happy to have a permanent job in these tough times. We’ll have to see what happens.”
Regardless, it has been an exciting six months for the Irish driver. Upon winning the competition in September 2012, he was invited to Brussels to formally receive the prize from EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas. ”It’s been fantastic to travel and receive so much recognition.”