The deadline to enter the 2015 Motor Transport Awards has been extended to 27 March so there is still time to enter before our panels of independent, expert judges gather in April to make their deliberations. Here are some hints and tips on how to make sure your entry stands out from the crowd.

For more than 25 years, those iconic Motor Transport Awards trophies have been the most sought-after symbol of excellence in road transport. The awards night is the biggest evening on the road transport calendar, with more than 1,600 people – reading like a who’s who of the industry – gathering at the Grosvenor House hotel in the heart of London’s West End.

The Awards are judged by leading industry figures with years of experience in road transport. The judging process is taken very seriously, with separate panels of up to five judges sequestered in strictly confidential half-day judging sessions to scrutinise the entries. Each panel is chaired by a member of the MT editorial staff who is there to ensure the judging process is fair and open, and who only votes if the panel is deadlocked.


The deadline for entries for the 2015 awards is 27 March. The finalists will be revealed on 11 May and the winners will be announced at the Grosvenor House on Wednesday 1 July. Here are a few tips from some of the chairmen of the judging panels on what it takes to win an MT award.

Read the criteria for each category you wish to enter carefully. The judges will be looking for entries that directly address each point listed and clearly demonstrate excellence, not simply business as usual. Entries do not need to be long and complicated. Simple is beautiful when it comes to an awards entry – spending hours preparing pages of graphs or tables that baffle judges is a waste of time. Present the facts of your argument in clear, unambiguous terms. Remember it is the story you have to tell that will win the award, not a flashy presentation so don’t let your story get lost in an over-long or hard to understand entry. There are consultants out there with long experience in putting together successful awards entries – if you are unsure on how to go about making an entry, get some help.

If you are entering Haulier of the Year, you must supply your past three years of audited accounts and a print-out of your OCRS with your entry.

Remember, you need to grab the judges’ attention – keep your story simple and compelling.

You can enter as many categories as you like but make sure each entry is specific to that category and do not submit the same entry for more than one awards category. If the same or very similar entries are received for multiple categories, we will use our judgement to decide which category it is most appropriate for – which may not be the one you most want to win.

Make sure your entry is tailored to the category criteria and not a generic description of your company.

The awards entry itself must be limited to 1,000 words. This should explain clearly why you believe your company deserves to win an award. Supporting information to expand on the entry can be provided in appendices, but ensure they are clearly identified in the entry. Make sure the most important information is on page 1, not page 101.

Word count

Stick to the word count. Every year the judges complain that some entries are far too long and it requires more time and effort to find the key facts they are looking for. Short, concise and to the point will work in your favour better than endless pages of information, charts and supporting material. Put yourself in the judges’ shoes – what would it take to impress you?

Do not submit CDs, DVDs or memory sticks – sorry but the judges do not have time to open electronic files or view videos. Entries must be printed, properly bound and we need four identical copies so several judges can read them at the same time. Please avoid novelty packaging unless it really adds something to the entry.

The Partnership award includes partnerships with customers, other operators or suppliers. The entry must be made by an operator not the customer or supplier.

If entering Livery of the Year, submit high quality printed photographs of the old and new liveries so the judges can see the evolution between the two. Also, detail the thought process behind the new livery and what it means for your business.

Awards judges

No entries are required for Fleet Truck or Fleet Van of the Year. A long list of eligible vehicles will be drawn up by the MT editorial team and the finalists and winners will be chosen by panels of fleet operators.

If you wish to nominate someone for the Service to Industry award, email the editor of MT Steve Hobson on steve.hobson@road with a short description of the person’s career and why they deserve to win. This award is for someone who has delivered outstanding service to the road transport industry, not just had a successful business career.

Most awards are for CV operators running fleets of 11 or more trucks or vans. If you are a manufacturer, supplier or customer with a good story to tell, work with your transport contractor to enter a suitable category such as Best Use of Technology or Partnership.

Remember the golden rules: keep it simple; read the entry form properly; and stick to the word count. Putting in a little extra effort will greatly improve your chances of picking up an award that could transform your business. You have to be in it to win it, so to enter, go to

What it means to win

Abbey Logistics picked up its second Haulier of the Year Award in 2014. MD Steve Granite says the first win in 2010 was a “watershed” for the company: “We used it because we were going it into new markets like general haulage and powders where nobody knew us. Being Haulier of the Year was a big selling point – all of sudden it adds credibility to your business.”