— Industry experts offer their opinions*
“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!