Asia Pacific’s biggest competition for truckers, the Fuelwatch Challenge 2012, ended in a grand finale and gala dinner in Volvo’s Shah Alam premises on Saturday, 14 July. Roslan, the champion trucker will now get the opportunity to compete with some of the best truckers in the world in the Fuelwatch Finale in Australia in November.
Launched in Malaysia this year in May, Fuelwatch is an extensive customer-outreach initiative centred on boosting fuel efficiency and influencing positive changes in driver behaviour. This year’s Fuelwatch Challenge is the third consecutive time when Volvo Trucks Malaysia reached out to the drivers of Volvo product and trained them on the importance of techniques for increased fuel efficiency.
After the launch in Shah Alam, the Volvo Trucks team travelled across 6 states in Peninsular and East Malaysia, searching for the 20 best truckers in the country. These roadshows in Shah Alam, Johor, Kuantan, Penang, Kuching, and Bintulu included a thorough driver’s training, briefing, and a written test to prepare and qualify them for the challenge. During the semi-finals, 20 participants were divided into groups and they competed for a position in the finals. The six finalists then drove on a predetermined 50km route, where Roslan Bin Md Ali of Taipanco Sdn Bhd, Shah Alam was crowned champion based on lowest fuel consumption (km/l) within the time limit set. The truck used for the final was FM400 6×2 with I-Shift transmission.
When the results were tabulated during the Finals, everyone cheered as Roslan had set a new record of 3.03 kilometres to a liter of fuel. Since Fuelwatch started in 2010, no participant has managed to pass the 3km mark. The results clearly show that the usage of I-Shift does make a difference as this was the first year Volvo Trucks revolutionary gear box has been used in the Challenge. With better utilisation of the Volvo technology in the truck especially proper usage of the I-Shift and good driving habits, the km/l can be increased so much more. Roslan’s fuel consumption was significantly better than the driver who came in last and on an average. the kilometer achieved to a liter of fuel was 2.1517 km/l. 2 representatives from the Automobile Association of Malaysia, Encik Taufik and En Shaiful Azmi verified the results during the semi finals and finals.
Sim Kiam Voon of Xing Long Logistics Sdn Bhd, Bintulu who won a BSN voucher worth RM 3,000 and Mohd Faiz Bin Abu Hassan of Kumpulan Samastar Sdn Bhd, Prai who won a BSN voucher worth RM 2,000 were the first and second runners up respectively.
Volvo Malaysia’s annual Fuelwatch Challenge has helped put Malaysian truckers on the global map for the last two years, pitting our local champions against the world’s best truckers.
The Fuelwatch Challenge is not just about driving skills, it is about achieving maximum fuel efficiency through a comprehensive approach encompassing vehicle optimisation and maintenance, performance monitoring, safety measures and driver behaviour through a nationwide competition format.
Volvo Trucks has been working closely with companies across the globe to improve fleet fuel efficiency by paying close attention to the key areas of vehicle specification, maintenance, driver training and cost/performance analysis. It is interesting to note that fleets, as well as owner-operators are encouraged to integrate Fuelwatch techniques to maximize fuel efficiency while minimizing impact on the environment. This leads to intense support to Fuelwatch from all stakeholders.
“The cost of fuel is the big issue facing the trucking industry,” said Mansoor Ahmed, Managing Director of Volvo Group Malaysia. “With Fuelwatch, we’re taking a comprehensive approach – addressing spec’s, maintenance, vehicle performance and driver training together to help get the most kilometres out of every litre of fuel.”
“Fuelwatch was designed so we could partner with our customers to give them a comprehensive approach to improving fuel economy and profitability starting at the grassroot by training the end user. In the last 3 years, we have trained drivers on the importance of fuel efficiency and the growing participation from drivers and their employers each year speaks volumes of the impact we have had with Fuelwatch. I would take this opportunity to congratulate Roslan and wish him luck for the grand finale in Australia. I hope he brings back laurels to Malaysia and makes us all proud!”
Speaking on this win, Roslan said, “I’m very proud to win this competition. This experience will help me improve my driving skills to be even more fuel efficient in the future. These experiences and learning’s will definitely be shared with my fellow colleagues and friends who were unable to participate due to their work schedule. I will also share this with truck drivers of other brands to show them Volvo Trucks capabilities and how they care about us. I am looking forward to the finale in Australia and I hope I make my company and the Volvo brand proud. And most importantly, I want to make Malaysia proud. 1Malaysia!.”
Roslan’s employer and the Executive Director of Taipanco Sdn Bhd, En Nazari Bin Akhbar said, “We are very proud to have been associated with Fuelwatch and Roslan. We are all looking forward to the Australian leg of this championship, but I am sure Roslan will also use these techniques and coach his peers to maximize fuel efficiency across the board for our company.”
Agreeing with En Nazari, Mansoor concluded, “Fuelwatch is the stepping stone to engage truckers in the concept of fuel efficiency. After that, sustenance is not tough. Owing to our commitment to this cause, our trucks have cutting edge technology and inbuilt mechanisms to increase fuel efficiency. To add to it, our consistent engagement with end users only helps us make the impact stronger. We are happy to have grown in terms of impact in Malaysia and we hope to continue to grow the reach and influence of this cause among truckers in the years to come.”
The day ended with a Gala Dinner at the Volvo Trucks Malaysia HQ in Shah Alam where the guests partook in Swedish cuisine and was entertained by Along from Raja Lawak. The prizes to all the participants were also awarded during the night. The drivers developed a real camaraderie during their 3 days together and after much laughter and fun, everyone took their leave and went home with happy memories and a see you next year!
words & pix: Volvo Malaysia