Drive smart and safely! – this is the main objective and goal of the motivational initiative for economical and environmentally friendly driving “EKO League”.
As the “Girteka Logistics” group of companies continues to grow, the number of participants in the “EKO League” project increases with every season, making it more and more difficult to win! With more than 18,000 drivers currently working at Girteka Logistics, who are intensively learning the eco-driving programme in the Training Academy, the competition among the participants has increased significantly in season 7! The drivers were really competing fiercely, but the project leader managed to hold on to the top score until the last moment of the season. And a few days ago, at Šiauliai Transport Division, we congratulated the winner of the “EKO League” 7th season – Edvinas Šeškas, a German fleet driver who scored 98.42 out of 100! The winner received a “TOPO CENTRAS” store chain voucher worth €1,000.
Tamara Burbė, Driver Training Group Team Lead, was the first to congratulate the winner and other colleagues at the award ceremony. In her speech, she emphasized the importance of the Training Academy’s activities and the “EKO League” project not only for the organization but also for the environment: “The Training Academy helps every one of the organization’s 18,000+ drivers to develop their professional skills. In 2021 alone, more than 60,000 training courses were held, including eco-driving, road safety and industry regulations. We focus on eco-driving – a modern, fast, smart and responsible way of driving that helps to save fuel, take care of the vehicle and, most importantly, reach the destination safely.”
Edvin Darvid, The Head of the Transport Operations Development Department, also came to the event to congratulate the winner of the “ECO League” project. In his congratulatory speech, he noted that he was pleased that “Girteka Logistics group of companies has such a large, multicultural team of truck drivers and that such an impressive number of drivers, in turn, provides employment opportunities not only for experienced drivers of category CE but also for those with less experience and a desire to improve their professional skills. I believe that the tremendous efforts made by the Training Academy’s team to educate and train drivers, integrating a culture of economic driving which makes the best use of advanced vehicle technology and at the same time improves road safety, not only improves the driving skills of drivers but also fosters a more responsible driving style and reduces vehicle operating costs.”
Traditionally, after the congratulations, we interviewed the winner of the “ECO League” project, Edvinas Šeškas:
Congratulations once again for winning the 7th season of the “ECO League”! Share your impressions, how did you feel when you found out you had won?
I wasn’t really surprised because I had been working towards it for a few years. But it was very nice because it was not clear until the last moments who was going to win because the other drivers were also trying to influence the outcome of the project. So, when I found out that I had won, I was very happy. I found out while I was on the trip, so I called the transport manager and shout to him over the phone that I had won!
Some drivers discussed that working in Germany, because of the traffic on the motorways, it is much harder to participate equally in the project compared to drivers working in other regions. You have obviously refuted this debate. Please share how you went about winning?
First, I got most of my knowledge from the instructors of the Training academy. Also, as a truck driver, I discovered my own personal ways – a system – to improve my eco-score. For example, I used to monitor my eco-score every week, noted which particular criterion my score went up in, and then tried to increase that particular score. Basically, it’s a systematic, continuous effort. It doesn’t matter where the driver is driving, it’s about considering the circumstances and adapting to keep your eco-score high.
Symbolically, a few days ago you celebrated your 7th year of work at “Girteka Logistics”. Was our group of companies the first employer in your career as a truck driver? Why did you choose “Girteka Logistics”?
This time I have three lucky sevens: 7 years at Girteka, the 7th season of the “ECO League”, and just over a week ago I celebrated my 27th birthday.
“Girteka Logistics” group of companies is my first employer. I passed my driving test straight out of school, and I knew I was going to work for Girteka because my dad had been working there for a few years. “Girteka Logistics” is also his first employer when it comes to the profession of a truck driver. Today, my dad has been with the group for 10 years.
Looking back at your work experience, for the first 3 years you were delivering cargo all over Europe, then for a few years in England, and for the last two years – in Germany. What do you enjoy most about being a truck driver?
I really enjoy working alone, I have an introverted personality, so I can do my job in peace. During my work, I can combine my rest time with tourism, and visit new countries and cities. When I come back home from work, I have enough time to relax and do my own personal things. From an employer’s point of view, what I like most is that there is a Training Academy, professional instructors helping drivers develop, and, thanks to a large number of drivers at “Girteka Logistics”, I can adapt my work schedule more freely. “Girteka Logistics” is a large organization with well-established procedures, a working system, always orderly loading, and cooperation with well-known brands.
Let’s face it, if there was no “ECO League” project in “Girteka Logistics”, would you pay so much attention to eco-driving, knowledge gaining and skills development?
I started working for the group of companies when there was no “EKO League” project, and back then drivers were trained in economical driving, and we did have knowledge about it. However, since the project started, there has been more personal involvement and learning, because I want to improve, compete with my colleagues for higher positions and seek recognition.
What advice would you give to colleagues who want to win in the next seasons? Or will you try to keep the title yourself? 😊
Of course, I would like to win again! However, I can advise all my colleagues to listen carefully at the Training Academy, because it is very important to have a piece of theoretical knowledge about economic driving. But it is just as important to put that theoretical knowledge into practice. This will definitely help you to achieve high scores, but in order to win, especially when the difference between 1st and 2nd place is usually very small, you need to take time for personal development, to develop your own system, which can take several seasons or even years.
We thank Edvinas for the cordial conversation and fun company and wish him and all Girteka Logistics drivers the best of luck in the “EKO League” season 8!