— In­dus­try ex­perts of­fer their opin­ions*

Owner Driver - - OWNER // DRIVER -

“Be­ing a me­chanic by trade helps when it comes to driv­ing”

“You un­der­stand how things work – it breeds me­chan­i­cal sym­pa­thy.”

When not steering trucks for the fam­ily busi­ness, Cameron is also heav­ily in­volved in spec­c­ing the trucks, man­ag­ing ac­cred­i­ta­tion and com­pli­ance.

And in what may seem to be at odds with the whole fuel econ­omy ap­proach to driv­ing, Cameron is also a bit of a petrol head who in­dulges in of­froad­ing and even hunt­ing.

IM­PROV­ING THE SCORE

Volvo driver devel­op­ment coach Per Hansen is no stranger to help­ing driv­ers to get the best out of their trucks. He has worked ex­ten­sively with fleets both lo­cally and over­seas.

Cameron has been se­lected to rep­re­sent Vic­to­ria in this year’s Volvo Driver’s Fuel Chal­lenge. The se­lec­tion was made af­ter ex­am­in­ing Dy­nafleet data from all Vic­to­rian fleets that use Volvo’s telem­at­ics sys­tem.

Per is on hand to see if it is pos­si­ble to im­prove on Simp­son’s al­ready im­pres­sive fuel econ­omy fig­ures and pos­si­bly even bump up his Dy­nafleet score.

With Per on board and Cameron at the wheel, the gleam­ing FM rolls out of the yard and into the morn­ing gloom bound for Spotswood, a 330km round trip, to pick up another load of diesel.

This trip was go­ing to serve as a chance for Hansen to ob­serve how Cameron han­dles the truck.

On their re­turn to the yard that af­ter­noon, it’s clear that the former is im­pressed with the lat­ter’s skill be­hind the wheel of a truck.

“He knows what he’s do­ing!” Per says, wear­ing an ex­pres­sion of mock indig­na­tion on his face. “He’s mak­ing my job very dif­fi­cult.”

Cameron looks quite pleased with him­self, though it may have more to do with mak­ing Per’s life dif­fi­cult than self-sat­is­fac­tion! You get the feel­ing there’s been more than a lit­tle ban­ter be­tween the two dur­ing the trip.

The pair of them then re­treat to the of­fice to crunch Dy­nafleet num­bers on the com­puter, where Per may just have a game plan brew­ing.

The fol­low­ing day, both Per and Cameron climb back aboard the PBS com­bi­na­tion for another trip.

This time Per is go­ing to of­fer some tips and tricks.

“I want to see if we can get a lit­tle more fuel out of you,” he says.

Cameron looks two parts amused and one part chal­lenged – the gaunt­let has clearly been thrown down. “Okay then, let’s go.”

Win­ter is meant to be the quiet sea­son, though Cameron reck­ons de­mand has stayed steady this year

Pep talk time!

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