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The UK’s leading container transport and distribution operator Maritime Transport, has welcomed experienced driver Derek Drummond back to work, after a four year absence, with a new Volvo FH Globetrotter 6×2 tractor unit.

Derek’s absence follows a serious road traffic collision in which the Volvo FH he was driving was in collision with a car.

The incident took place in January 2011. Derek, who is based at Maritime Transport’s Liverpool depot, was driving his Volvo FH artic on the A43 near Northampton. The tractor unit was coupled to a skeletal trailer and was carrying an empty container.

Derek describes the incident thus: “I was driving along a single carriageway section of the A43. I was passing a junction on my right and travelling at 40 mph. As the tractor unit passed the junction, a car pulled out without warning and hit my front steer axle.”

“According to Northants Police,” he continued, “the car hit my truck at 40mph and pushed it to the left. There was no time to take evasive action. The trailer rode over the top of the car. The impact threw my truck and trailer across the carriageway, down a dyke and into a field.”

Derek, who has been driving professionally for 31 years, explains that he fractured three vertebrae in his lower back as a result of the incident.

He covers around 160,000 Kms a year and has been driving for Maritime Transport for eight years. “It was the first accident I have had at work,” he explains. “The driver of the car, an 81 year old gentleman, admitted liability and subsequently surrendered his driving licence. Fortunately, neither he nor his passenger, a 76 year old woman, suffered serious injuries and didn’t have to be cut out of their car. However, I have no doubt that the strength and design of the FH cab saved me from worse injury and effectively saved my life.”

“During the four years I was off work receiving treatment and recovering from my injuries,” he adds, “Maritime Transport stood by me. I can’t thank them enough for that. I wanted another Volvo when I returned to work and I’m very pleased to be allocated this new FH. It’s a great looking truck. I’m made up!”

Speaking on behalf of Maritime Transport, Liverpool Area Manager Brian McWhirter said: “We are delighted to welcome Derek back to work with this new FH tractor unit. Derek was exonerated by all parties, including the Police, our insurers and the car driver, of any blame or fault for the incident which put him off work for four years. The new FH we have handed over to him is the first in a significant order for Volvo trucks that we have placed. Volvo’s record on driver safety is excellent and we are pleased that this incident has been resolved.”