Volvo Trucks Malaysia’s annual Fuelwatch Challenge, which first started in 2010, has returned for the eighth time this year.
It has so far mentored more than 4,450 truck drivers from all over the country on how to enhance their driving competency and behaviour to be more fuel efficient and safer drivers on the roads.
Out of this, seven lucky Malaysian truck drivers who scored the highest in the nationwide preliminary rounds will be given the opportunity to compete against one another in a fuel efficiency test in the Fuelwatch Challenge Malaysia Finals.
The winning champion will then participate in the Drivers Fuel Challenge – World Final in Sweden that not only judges but also teaches skill, concentration, knowledge, and discipline.
The competition, which first started in Europe as a concept for achieving maximum efficiency, is moduled based on local market demands and industry landscape, where for Malaysia it will mainly concentrate on three key areas – driver development, fuel maintenance and Dynafleet or telematics.
Volvo Malaysia managing director Mats Nilsson said the key objective with Fuelwatch Challenge is to create better understanding and awareness on fuel efficiency, safety, maintenance, vehicle optimisation and driver behaviour.
“Going beyond that, Fuelwatch Challenge also condones proper management and maintenance of the truck prior to usage.
“Not only will it contribute significantly to fuel efficiency on the road, it would also reduce the risk of a breakdown and more importantly, the safety of the trucker and those around it,” he said.
This year’s competition kicked-off with preliminary rounds held in Johor Bahru on July 25, and Kuantan and Kuching on 27 July.
Preliminary rounds will also be held in five other locations, namely Ipoh on August 1, Bintulu on August 2, Prai on August 3, Port Klang on August 5 and Kota Kinabalu on August 6.
The competition is open to all drivers of Volvo trucks.
The event has also seen a steadily increasing number of participants, with rising from 1,040 participants in 2015 to 1,410 in 2016.
“Based on the number of participants who have already attended the recent preliminary rounds, there has been an average of 40% increase from last year.
“We have been seeing yearly increase in the number of drivers coming to take part in Fuelwatch Challenge as we have always strived to make the competition exciting,” said Nilsson.
This year’s competition will see the addition of three things – an oral communication assessment for truck drivers as a value-add and to increase their confidence, a live demonstration of the Driver Coaching feature using Volvo Trucks’ proprietary telematics system, Dynafleet and usage of Volvo Trucks’ recently launched flagship heavy-duty long-haul truck, Volvo FH, for the final round of the competition.
“At the end of the day, Fuelwatch Challenge helps our customers in the logistics and haulage industry reduce wastage and truck operating costs, because a competent and knowledgeable truck driver makes all the difference when it comes to fuel efficiency, safety and maintaining truck uptime,” added Nilsson.
All participants in the preliminary rounds will need to undergo a briefing and a written test to prepare and qualify them for the final stage of the competition, where only seven will qualify for the final round to be held in Shah Alam on August 25 and 26.
Prior to that, these seven finalists will have to undergo a training session before the actual day of the final competition.
The local champion will represent Malaysia at the global championship in Sweden from September 18 to 22.