In today’s ever environmentally-conscious and economically-aware world, fuel efficiency is one of the most important factors to consider for any haulage company. Fuel consumption accounts for almost a third of a company’s outgoings so maximising efficiency is paramount.
It is common knowledge that Volvo Trucks are famous for their low fuel consumption, but every company director or owner knows that having fuel-efficient trucks is only half the battle. Fuel-efficient truck drivers are equally as important.
An Introduction to The Drivers’ Fuel Challenge
In order to motivate drivers and make them aware of the importance of how they drive, Volvo Trucks hosts The Drivers’ Fuel Challenge every year. This international competition rewards truck drivers for their skill at driving as economically as possible on a specified route.
This year, on 9th September, Gothenburg, the place that Volvo calls its hometown, was the location of the final event.
The preliminary rounds of this competition involved 12,000 entrants, who competed in national and regional events that were held in various locations worldwide. The final of the competition this year saw 28 competitors, out of 42 countries that originally entered, fight it out for the prestigious title of “World’s Most Fuel-Efficient Driver”. Won by Tomáš Horčička, the competition was tough. It involved the truck drivers being judged on their times and their fuel savings over the 6.9km course. In the transport industry today, deadlines are critical and so including a time element in the competition made it more appropriate to a truck driver’s regular working day. Every driver was given 12 minutes and 30 seconds to drive the course.
Every participant drove a high tech Volvo FH fitted with an enhanced powertrain and anyone completing the course with spare time was awarded bonus points. This meant that the skill of the drivers was tested as well as the trucks. In order to get close to winning the drivers were required to clock a quick time around the course without losing sight of their aim to be as fuel efficient as possible. They had to be forward thinking and have excellent planning skills to succeed.
Not only does the winner of this event every year gain a huge amount of prestige, they also receive VIP tickets for two to a Formula 1 race of their choice.
The Benefits of a Fuel-Efficient Driver
Good truck drivers are essential but a driver who can drive in a fuel efficient manner can make a staggering 10% saving in fuel. This is a huge saving for any transport company, especially if all of the truck drivers in the company are able to handle their vehicles with such skill and add to the saving.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Haulage Exchange provides services for matching truck drivers with available haulage jobs. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.