Pre­par­ing to take on the world

IN­DUS­TRY NEWS

Business Day - Motor News - - COMMERCIAL NEWS - Motor News Re­porter Quester Cat­e­gory Quon Cat­e­gory

UD Trucks South­ern Africa an­nounced the brand’s top fleet driv­ers in two cat­e­gories at its an­nual Ex­tra Mile Chal­lenge driver com­pe­ti­tion re­cently.

The com­pe­ti­tion, which com­prised nu­mer­ous ef­fi­ciency and safety eval­u­a­tions, took place at the Gerotek vehicle test­ing fa­cil­ity and saw 17 par­tic­i­pants from SA com­pet­ing in ei­ther the UD Quester or Quon ex­tra heavy truck cat­e­gory.

Lafras Kruger from RA Transport in the Eastern Cape walked away with top hon­ours in the Quester cat­e­gory, while Buza Ngcel­wane from Dairy Farm­ers of SA, also from the Eastern Cape, was named the best Quon driver.

GLOBAL CHAL­LENGE

In the process, both Kruger and Ngcel­wane qual­i­fied to rep­re­sent SA in the global Ex­tra Mile Chal­lenge com­pe­ti­tion that will take place in Ja­pan in Novem­ber. They will be joined by their fleet man­agers at UD Trucks’ head­quar­ters in Ageo, and will see driv­ers from across the world com­pete in the two vehicle cat­e­gories to ul­ti­mately be crowned cham­pi­ons.

“We greatly value the vi­tal role truck driv­ers play in our econ­omy and the over­all de­vel­op­ment of the re­gion,” says Gert Swanepoel, MD of UD Trucks South­ern Africa. “The Ex­tra Mile Chal­lenge not only tests the skills and ef­fi­ciency of UD fleet driv­ers, it also goes a long way in rais­ing the stan­dards within fleets, as well as cre­ates aware­ness of the im­por­tance of safe and ef­fi­cient driv­ing.”

Driv­ers were put through their paces in chal­lenges that mea­sured ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity via on­board telem­at­ics on the Quester and the on­board VCU on the Quon mod­els.

Apart from the driv­ing tests, the driv­ers had to per­form some chal­leng­ing han­dling and park­ing tests, where ac­cu­racy and ef­fi­ciency were key to suc­cess. Driv­ers also had to com­plete a pre-drive in­spec­tion on the ve­hi­cles to en­sure the road­wor­thi­ness and safety of the trucks.

Kruger and Ngcel­wane will start their prepa­ra­tions to com­pete on a global stage, with the as­sis­tance of UD Trucks South­ern Africa’s prod­uct and driv­ing ex­perts. Last year’s lo­cal win­ner, Al­fred Ngilo, went on to be named the most ef­fi­cient driver at the in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

DRIV­ING SKILLS

“The re­sults of the Ex­tra Mile Chal­lenges have once again bol­stered our be­lief in the level of driv­ing skills avail­able in SA. We wish Buza and Lafras ev­ery suc­cess with the global com­pe­ti­tion in Novem­ber,” said Swanepoel.

UD Trucks Ex­tra Mile Chal­lenge Re­sults 2017 1. Lafras Kruger — RA Transport 2. Si­mon Moloi — Clover SA 3. John van Ree­nen — Dar­ling Romery 1. Buza Ngcel­wane — Dairy Farm­ers of SA 2. Wil­ford Chilu­fya — Tran­srite 3. James Mavuso — Af­gri

L-R: Gert Swanepoel (MD of UD Trucks South­ern Africa); Lafras Kruger (Quester win­ner); Buza Ngcel­wane (Quon Win­ner); Cather­ine Wang (UD Trucks Cor­po­ra­tion) and Ste­fan Bronkhorst (UD Trucks, GM fleet sales).

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