Robert Baker, from Tipperary, scooped the top prize at the Irish finals of Scania’s Young European Truck Driver 2014, which were held at Westward Scania’s headquarters in Strokestown.
The 15 final competitors were coached by the YETD 2012 European Champion, Gabriel Warde, who came up with many great tips. The competition jury comprised representatives of the Irish Road Safety Association.
Third time lucky
It was the third time for Robert, participating in the Irish finals. Previously, he finished third and fifth, and he believes this experience was one explanation for his victory.
“You learn something new every time. And it’s a privilege to have a guy like Gabriel Warde to learn from,” he says.
14 years behind the wheel
Over 300 applicants for the Irish Scania Truck Driver Competition was reduced to the 15 finalists, coming from Monaghan, Wexford, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Donegal, Leitrim, Meath, Mayo and Limerick. In the end, Robert and Gavin Agnew emerged during the day to compete in an exciting “head to head”, leading to the Irish winner being selected for the final in Sweden next year.
Robert, 32, has been a professional driver since he was 18 and received his licence.
“But I’m more or less born and raised in a truck. My father is truck driver, and I have been ‘driving’ since I was tall enough to reach the accelerator,” he says.