The first female truck driver from Malaysia, Junaidah Ibrahim from Prai, has qualified into the final round of Volvo Trucks Malaysia’s annual Fuelwatch Challenge this year which will be held on August 25 and 26 in Shah Alam.
Junaidah has been working as a truck driver for five years and currently works alongside her husband who also drives a truck for the same company, Benua Haulage Sdn Bhd, which is part of Sin Hock Soon Group.
Her career as a truck driver first started out as a curiosity and interest to experience how it is like to drive a truck, and this later developed into a career in which she excels.
Junaidah, who is a mother of three, puts in around eight to nine hours a day driving her Volvo truck but stresses that being extra careful while driving on the road is her utmost priority in the job as she has a family to go back to at the end of the day, and believes that her skills and focus in the preliminary round of the Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge in Prai had secured her a spot in the final.
She is also popular among her customers who are pleased not only with her professionalism but also feel proud to see a female truck driver appearing at their doorsteps.
Junaidah is the only female truck driver in her company and is proud to be in this male-dominated profession.
“The support that I get from my husband, who is also my colleague, and the confidence my employer and customers have in me are indeed very encouraging.
“I’m glad to have found my niche and proven that gender stereotype can definitely be broken,” she said.
In terms of license qualification, Junaidah has both rigid and container truck driving licenses, which is not the norm and is uncommon even amongst the general population of male truck drivers.
She will be competing with seven other finalists in the final round of Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge 2017, where a day prior to that, all eight of them will have to undergo a training session by Volvo Trucks’ drivers’ trainer to further enhance their skills.
The other seven male finalists are Ruslan Ab Ghani from Perwakilan Cekap Sdn Bhd (Port Klang), Jamal B. Embong from Prifaria Sdn Bhd (Kuantan), Ahmad Sulaiman from Konsortium PD Sdn Bhd (Port Klang), Mohd Sufian bin Sahari from Multimodal Freight Sdn Bhd (Port Klang), Kaspul Anwar bin Abdul Karim from Prifaria Sdn Bhd (Prai), Tan Eng Hin from Lima Bintang Logistics Sdn Bhd (Prai) and Firdaus bin Salim from Swift Logistics Sdn Bhd (Johor Bahru).
The winning champion will have the opportunity to represent Malaysia and participate in the Drivers Fuel Challenge – World Final in Sweden from September 18 to 22, that judges and teaches skill, concentration, knowledge, and discipline.
“The Challenge is a great platform for us, regardless of gender, to prove that we can perform at the highest level if we apply the right skills, and of course, it will be such a great achievement for all women out there if I can win the trophy,” said Junaidah.
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.
Since its commencement in Malaysia in 2010, the Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge has so far mentored more than 6,000 truck drivers from all over the country on how to enhance their driving competency and behaviour to be more fuel efficient and safer on the roads.
The number of truck drivers who participated in this year’s competition saw an increase of 19% compared to last year.