The annual Volvo Trucks Fuelwatch Challenge seeks to equip, train and empower truckers with knowledge and skills to be more fuel efficient truck drivers. Volvo Malaysia, a wholly-owned subsidiary distributing commercial vehicles and equipment manufactured under the Volvo Group, believes that fuel saving ultimately boils down to the beholder of the truck’s reins, the driver.
Volvo Trucks Malaysia is back once more with its annual Fuelwatch challenge, seeking to find Malaysia’s most fuel efficient trucker to pit against the world’s best in a fuel efficiency contest that judges and more importantly, teaches skill, concentration, knowledge, and discipline. Kicking off the first of six preliminary rounds in Shah Alam on 30 April, participants will be put through a series of trainings and briefings all the way until the end of June. So far 350 truckers from 63 companies have registered to participate in the challenge. Following the launch, Volvo Malaysia will proceed with a road show across the country covering Johor Bahru, Prai, Kuantan, Kuching, and Bintulu. This year’s challenge is unique as together with the competition, it makes the Globe Truckers Carnival a pan Malaysia affair.
The Fuelwatch Challenge seeks to offer a treasure trove of skills and information, equipping truckers with the ability to churn out the best fuel consumption possible for their vehicles. This is achieved through a process that encompasses a comprehensive approach and setting the right ergonomics between man and machine for maximum output, with minimum fuel. Going beyond driving skills, Fuelwatch 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.
Volvo’s Fuelwatch concept for maximum efficiency revolves around 6 key concepts:
- Optimized Trucks
- Fuel Saving Maintenance
- Efficiency Upgrades
- Trip Manager
- Driver Development
- Fuel Management Service
During the Challenge, all participants are required to undergo a driver’s training, briefing, and a written test to prepare and qualify them for the challenge. During the semi-finals, 20 participants will be divided into groups and compete for a position in the finals. The three finalists will then drive on a predetermined 50km route, where the winner will be selected based on lowest percentage of fuel consumption within the time limit set. The champion of the Malaysia Fuelwatch Challenge will receive a RM 5,000 BSN voucher and the chance to compete in Australia against truckers from across the continent. His employer will receive a voucher for RM 10,000 worth of genuine parts from Volvo and a trip to Australia to watch the Malaysian champion compete for the Asia title.
Newly appointed Managing Director of Volvo Malaysia, Mats Nilsson mentioned that, “At the end of the day, a trucker’s role is critical in making the most difference in fuel efficiency. It involves throwing in the right elements of a comprehensive approach to driving and advanced preparation, integrating them both into sustainable fuel-saving behaviour”.
He also said that the Fuelwatch Challenge is one of Volvo Malaysia’s key tools to mentor truckers and also, to pass on specific skills and knowledge that will significantly improve fuel efficiency.
“Today, every industry is calling for fuel efficient behaviour. Being one of the leaders in the commercial vehicle segment, we see it as our duty to mould truckers to be more fuel efficient. Ultimately, this offers businesses an opportunity to increase revenue by cutting fuel cost, an issue that every stakeholder of the logistics and haulage industry is mindful of. Fuel costs can account for up to 50% of overall costs. Fuelwatch is a way for us to partner our customers in ways that goes beyond technology and vehicles and offer solutions to business issues.” added Mats.
This year, the Fuelwatch Challenge has garnered support from Director of Automotive Engineering Division and Road Transport Department of the Malaysian Ministry of Transport (MOT), Mr. Ir. Mohamad bin Dalib. Addressing truck drivers as the pilots of the economy, he said that by learning the technical aspects of fuel efficiency, they will be able to further contribute to making their industry profitable and “green”. As a backbone of the economy, every component of its ecosystem now needs to move towards sustainability and profitability.
Ir Mohammad further added, “The Fuelwatch Challenge made a significant contribution towards the environment and the ecosystem since its inception in Malaysia in 2010. More than a challenge, Fuelwatch disseminates fuel saving skills which enables truckers to be better stewards of earth’s resources”. He is also a great believer of the Volvo Trucks Driver Development initiatives that imparts knowledge and skills to the drivers on safe and defensive driving as well as teaching them how to utilise each component in the truck to their advantage.
Year on year, Volvo Trucks Malaysia has seen great strides in the performance of the participating drivers. Mats also expressed his excitement at this year’s Fuelwatch Challenge after the previous Fuelwatch challenge ended in celebrations as it was the first time a stretch of more than 3km was covered with only one litre of fuel.
“Last year we saw the usage of I-Shift for the first time in the Fuelwatch Challenge, boosting fuel efficiency of the trucks as a whole. But we believe that sustainable driving habits contribute equally to the daunting task of covering more than 3km with one litre of fuel.” shared Mats.
After competing with over a thousand other truckers last year, Roslan Bin Md Ali was crowned the winner of Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge 2012. As the champion of the contest, Roslan was offered a golden opportunity to compete with the region’s finest truckers in Melbourne, Australia in November, 2012. According to Roslan, the experiences and lessons garnered throughout the contest was immense, and is now applied daily into his trucking routine.
With an aim to raise awareness on the importance of fuel-efficiency, safety, quality and environment care, from a peer whose voice will be heard among the people of the trucker community, Volvo Malaysia also proudly announced Roslan as the official 2013 ambassador for Fuelwatch Challenge.
“Roslan is a standing example of everything that Fuelwatch stands for. We believe that his inspiring story will influence fuel saving behaviour among the Malaysian truckers community”, said Mats.
Topics that participants will go through during the pre-Challenge training are:
Daily checks and general rules to ensure fuel-efficiency driving
Crucial factors that affect fuel consumption
Importance of safe driving as a contributor to fuel-efficiency driving
Uphill, downhill, and route selections and driving tactics and styles
Understanding of the components in the truck to enable improved fuel-efficiency driving
Volvo Malaysia will ensure that the information, tips, and know-hows are made available to the Malaysian truck drivers circle through the Globe Truckers club. Free membership to the club is opened to ALL truck drivers in Malaysia with a valid truck license Class E and/or GDL license. More information can be obtained from the official Volvo Trucks Malaysia facebook page at www.facebook.com/
words & pix: Volvo Trucks Malaysia