Kiwi wins global chal­lenge

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AUS­TRALIA AND New Zealand showed off their driv­ing tal­ents at the Volvo Trucks Fuel­watch Chal­lenge, where na­tional win­ners from the Driv­ers’ Fuel Chal­lenge from around the world went head-to-head.

The global Fuel­watch Chal­lenge saw the very best from 13 coun­tries give it all they had in Gothen­burg, home of Volvo Trucks, chas­ing the cov­eted ti­tle of most ef­fi­cient driver.

Johnny Bax­ter from New Zealand won the global on-road cat­e­gory, and Tae­hun Kim from Korea took out the most fuel-ef­fi­cient driver in the off-road cat­e­gory. Aus­tralia’s Kerri Con­nors, the only fe­male fi­nal­ist, placed third in the on-road cat­e­gory, and Cameron Simp­son from Vic­to­ria took out sec­ond in the of­froad com­pe­ti­tion.

“Yet again, driv­ers from ‘down un­der’ are dom­i­nat­ing on the world stage,” Volvo Trucks Aus­tralia vice pres­i­dent Mitch Pe­den says.

“These driv­ers are the best of the best, com­ing from all around the world to com­pete for the ti­tle of the world’s most fuel-ef­fi­cient driver.

“What is par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing in this year’s com­pe­ti­tion is the pro­fes­sion­al­ism and skill com­ing from such young driv­ers. Johnny, Kerri and Cameron are all great role mod­els for the trans­port in­dus­try, and they should be ex­tremely proud of their ef­forts.”

The com­bined fuel sav­ings of the win­ners in each cat­e­gory came in at more than 15 per cent, giv­ing real-world proof that big cost sav­ings and re­duc­tions in car­bon foot­print are pos­si­ble through ef­fi­cient driv­ing tech­niques.

Driv­ers took the wheel of FH or FMX trucks on set cour­ses across a chal­leng­ing two-day event that put them through their paces. The Fuel­watch Chal­lenge took the best from 4280 driv­ers whose Dy­nafleet scores were as­sessed as part of the com­pe­ti­tion. The on-road win­ner, Johnny Bax­ter, 27, was one of the youngest driv­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing.

When the fuel-ef­fi­ciency fig­ures are trans­lated into real-world sav­ings,

the com­pe­ti­tion mar­gins of­fer sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ing po­ten­tial. Dur­ing an av­er­age long-haul op­er­a­tion of 150,000 kilo­me­tres, the on-road fuel ef­fi­ciency mar­gins could re­sult in 46,500 litres less fuel con­sump­tion per truck each year, Volvo Trucks claims.

“The per­for­mances we have seen dur­ing this year’s Fuel­watch Chal­lenge have re-af­firmed our con­vic­tion that the role of a skil­ful driver is piv­otal to bet­ter prof­itabil­ity for busi­nesses and re­duced im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment,” Volvo Trucks In­ter­na­tional se­nior vice pres­i­dent Heléne Mel­lquist says.

Win­ners re­ceive an exclusive travel ex­pe­ri­ence to one the stopovers of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Volvo FH and FMX trucks were used in the Fuel­watch Chal­lenge

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