On 22 September of this year, the winner of the 8th season of the “ECO League” motivational project for economical and environmentally friendly driving was awarded! 

Traditionally, the event was attended by employees of the administration and fellow truck drivers, who were in the Girteka branch in Šiauliai city at that time. 

The award ceremony was opened by Edvin Darvid, head of the Transport Development Department: “I would like to start by saying that “ECO League” is one of the initiatives that help our organization move towards more clean and sustainable logistics. With this kind of initiative transport sector can not only reduce emissions and influence the safety on the road but also lead by example in becoming more sustainable and responsible logistics. Together, we are working to create a promising future!” 

All colleagues as well were greeted and congratulated by Mindaugas Paulauskas, CEO of Girteka Transport. Before announcing the winner, Mindaugas underlined that “economical driving is first and foremost about road safety, not only about fuel economy, as many people mistakenly think. We monitor and analyze driving rates, and we see that drivers who strive to drive economically cause less damage and also receive fewer fines.” In his speech, CEO Girteka Transport also emphasized that the Diachuk brothers’ family tandem has been showing high results for many seasons, and their dedication and diligence eventually helped them achieve their desired results! At the end of the congratulatory speech Mindaugas Paulauskas announced the winner of the “ECO League” Season 8. The winner is Pavlo Diachuk, who scored 98,6 points! 

The winner was awarded with “TOPO CENTRAS” store chain voucher worth €1,000, a diploma and a corporate souvenir. After the official part of the ceremony all event participants enjoyed cake, discussed the past season of “ECO League” over a cup of coffee/ tea, also were taking photos with the winner. 

We also didn’t miss the opportunity to talk to the winner and asked him to share more about his journey to become the winner of the “ECO League” and his experience of working at Girteka:

Congratulations on winning the 8th season of “ECO League”! Share with us, was it difficult to win? 

When my brother and I started working at Girteka, we immediately started questioning the instructors at the Drivers Academy how to drive properly, economically and how to improve our skills. We were learning. I’m glad that the instructors were always willing to share their experience, they were supporting us and giving us recommendations on how we could improve our results. If we were unclear about something, we always called them and clarified the nuances. Actually, it was hard to win. There are a lot of drivers participating actively in the project, so the competition is high!  

Your brother came second in the “ECO League”. How did he react to your victory? Did he feel professional jealousy? Did you help each other to win?  

My brother and I work in a two-person crew. Of course, we helped each other and supported each other! But at the same time we were also competitors. My brother and I had almost identical results, so we had to compete against each other for first place.  

Tell us about your choice of profession. Did you choose the profession of truck driver or did the profession choose you?  

Since I was a child, I dreamt of becoming a driver, so it all worked out in my life. I started as a driver in my home country, then I went abroad and started working in Europe. It’s much more interesting working here: I see the world, many different countries, and I get to work with many different people. That’s what I was aiming for, and it’s a great work!  

You have been working at Girteka for four years now. Why did you decide to join our drivers’ team?  

A lot of drivers I know from my hometown were already working for Girteka at the time and recommended me to join the company. Of course, there were also driver jobs in my town, but the salaries were not at the same level. I have a family, children and I wanted to earn more money, so my brother and I decided to join Girteká. Many of my acquaintances also joined our team of drivers later.  

How did you feel when you started working at Girteka?

My impressions were very good: the work is well organised, everything is in order. Drivers can upgrade their qualification at the Drivers Academy, and drivers who have less experience are trained during their traineeship. The fleet has the latest trucks, it is very comfortable and convenient to work in, and it is interesting to travel to different countries.  

Girteka employs more than 18,000 drivers of different nationalities. Do you feel the size of your team? How does it feel to be part of a large, multicultural team?  

I feel the size of the team, it is very powerful! Wherever I go, I always meet my colleagues, we all meet on the road all the time. I can always just chat with my colleagues, ask for advice or help and I always get it.   

Some drivers are afraid of moving abroad because of the language barrier. Do you experience any inconveniences related to the language barrier?  

I don’t feel any discomfort with the language barrier because I started working abroad very early. At the age of 18, I went to work in Italy, where I learnt a little foreign language. Therefore, I did not feel any discomfort afterwards. I know that some colleagues had to get used to the change. It can be difficult at first, but you adapt quickly. After all, there are translators on the Internet, everyone knows the generic gestures, and everyone knows some simple, commonly used words in foreign languages. In general, it is easy to get along.  

Our social media followers and visitors of our website include many truck drivers who are new to the industry or have little work experience. Share what a typical day looks like for you. 

Basically, a route is a certain work and rest regime, a corresponding schedule of tasks, and a precise planning of their completion. When I receive information about loading, I always plan my time precisely so that I can deliver cargo on time to the specified location.  

What challenges do you face at work? How do you overcome them?  

To be honest, I haven’t encountered any difficulties in my work yet. Everything that happens is just simple work issues. 

There is a perception that truck driver profession is a profession for strict “real” men: driving a big vehicle, troubleshooting it, sleeping away from home, taking a bath or washing clothes on the road. That not everyone can work in such conditions. Is the work really that difficult as it is perceived? Are truck drivers’ working conditions improving over time?  

Look at me, do I look like a strict man? 😀 This is a misconception. There are different people who can work as drivers of category CE. Both men and women are successful in this profession. We don’t have to deal with technical problems ourselves, because trucks are maintained and repaired in the company’s own maintenance centers. In general, a lot depends on the driver himself. We have to make up our own minds about where we are driving, where we are stopping. Speaking of working conditions for drivers, it’s obvious that more and more attention is being paid to drivers, and a lot is being done to make us feel better. 

What have you learned while working at Girteka and taking part in the “ECO League” motivational program? 

I’ve learned how to drive even better! Now I know more roads, which is the best way to go, where to speed up and where to slow down. I already know all of Europe better than I know my own country. I can drive almost without a navigator, except for a few roads.  

What do you think of economical driving? 

I think it’s all normal. The faster you drive, the more trouble you can make. But economically you drive according to the rules, calmly, carefully, gradually speeding up the car, not worrying about anything. 

What’s your biggest professional dream?  

At the moment all my dreams are about my family and its well-being. I am just trying to provide for my family and my children. I really like my job, I love it and I am happy with what I have.  

We thank Pavlo for the pleasant conversation and we wish this victory to be one of his many achievements to come!