Aug

SA Drivers are going for gold

2010-08-02 13:23
Going for gold! Bert Koning who, we are proud to say, was FleetWatch’s on-the-road driver correspondent before taking up full-time employment with Timber 24 some years ago.

The World Cup is not yet over. Two South African truck drivers who pitted their skills against 8 000 participants in an international driving competion have qualified for the finals of the Fleetboard Drivers’˜ League due to be held in Germany in September this year. This is like qualifying for the World Cup of truck driving!Bert Koning from Timber 24 in Pietermaritzburg and Pieter Adriaanse from Fast ‘˜n Fresh in Cape Town are, according to an elated Pascal Weiss, FleetBoard Manager, Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles, not only among the best drivers in South Africa but are among the top 21 most economical drivers in the world.

Out of the 8 000 entrants, only 21 drivers made it to the finals which , under the banner of Truckermania Рwill be held at the Mercedes-Benz plant in W̦rth on September 11, 2010. This is when tests covering economical, safe and skilled driving will establish the overall winner.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) explains that the road to the finals began when FleetBoard established national drivers’ leagues in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and for the first time this year, in South Africa

Drivers who entered the competition were measured on their economical driving style during their normal day-to-day assignments over a period of a month using the FleetBoard operating analysis, which takes driving style and wear-related criteria into account, which results in improved fuel consumption.

“Driving for a complete month at this high performance level is truly exceptional and we can accredit them as the best drivers in the country,’ Weiss enthused.

According to MBSA, the competition for driving economy is in line with the times: companies are increasingly concerning themselves with economical transport processes to safeguard their long-term business.

These efforts bore fruit in the Drivers’ League, as all the participants demonstrated first-class driving skills under the demanding conditions of their day-to-day transport assignments. The best drivers achieved driving style scores of 9.36 , 9.99 (on a scale from 1-10). A very large number reached the front rankings, with 1 600 drivers achieving a score of 9.0 or better and demonstrating outstanding driving skills, and therefore low diesel consumption.

A comparison between the fuel consumption figures for June – when the tests were carried out – and the previous months shows that owing to the special motivation of the competition, the already very economical participants managed to lower their fuel consumption by an additional 1%, corresponding to roughly 400 litres of diesel per truck per year.

When the finalists meet at the finals they will be faced with challenging driving manoeuvres, emotions will run and the tension will surely reach breaking point.

Incidentally, Koning  achieved a score of 9,77 out of ten and Adriaanse 9,67. During the competition trials, Koning drove a Mercedes-Benz Actros 3344 and 3350 and achieved an average fuel consumption of 40,0 litres/100 km and travelled a total distance of 5 996 km.

For his part, Adriaanse was in charge of an Actros 2650, travelled 5 787 km with an average fuel consumption of 36,3 litres/100km.

Both drivers will be accompanied to the finals with a representative from their respective companies.

 

Drivers from a number of local trucking companies tried their hand in the competition. Fast ‘˜n Fresh proved a worthy competitor with eight of the top ten South African drivers in their fold. The top ten South African companies with the best truck drivers are:

  1. Timber24.
  2. Fast N Fresh
  3. B&E International.
  4. Eureka Transport.
  5. TimberLogistics.
  6. Unitrans Swaziland.
  7. Manline.
  8. FPS Bulk Diesel
  9. Bakers Transport.
  10. Agritrans.

“I would personally like to thank all the drivers and their respective companies for joining in the competition. With more than 8 000 drivers taking part, we in South Africa are proud to have been an integral part of this success story,’ Weiss proclaims: “We wish our two South African driving ambassadors well in the finals in Germany.’

And so do we at FleetWatch. Go all the way guys. Make us proud and bring home the glory. AYOBA!

Footnote: The main sponsor of this year’s FleetBoard Drivers’ League is Michelin. Other partners include: Voith Turbo, UTA, Mercedes-Benz CharterWay, Mercedes-Benz Service, Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH, Fernfahrer and the insurers Allianz Versicherungs-AG. They are supporting the best drivers with attractive prizes.

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