Malaysia has found its Volvo Trucks Fuelwatch Challenge 2018 champion, Haree Murughan Muniandy from ASTRO Productions Sdn Bhd. The results were announced during a celebratory dinner at Volvo Trucks’ Port Klang dealer, where nine of the country’s best truck drivers gathered for the results of the competition.
He received a RM 5 000 Bank Simpanan Nasional voucher and a trophy, however, the highlight of his victory is that he will be representing Malaysia in the Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge Global Final in Gothenburg, Sweden later this year.
Following in second place was Hidayu Sabaran from Nittsu Transport Service (M) Sdn Bhd, and at third place was Mohd Harun Mohd Yusop from Fima Freight Forwarders Sdn Bhd.
Volvo Trucks Malaysia Managing Director, Mitchell Peden said Haree had successfully embodied the core purpose of the Fuelwatch Challenge, which is intended to promote safe and fuel-efficient driving among truck drivers.
Volvo Trucks’ annual Fuelwatch Challenge is aimed at promoting maximum fuel efficiency and proper driving skills among truck drivers, through a challenging competitive platform. The competition is open to drivers across Malaysia with two separate categories namely the closed category and the open category.
An overjoyed Haree said as a professional truck driver, he had always admired the effort Volvo Trucks puts into educating drivers on the importance of fuel efficiency and safety in all aspects of driving. “After participating in the Fuelwatch Challenge Finals for the third time, the challenge has not only allowed me to further develop my skills and knowledge, but it also taught me to never give up until I have achieved my goal.”
The winner was determined by the best combination of fuel efficiency (measured using Volvo Trucks’ telematics system called Dynafleet), productivity and safety whilst also demonstrating that they had the ability to handle the different trucks.
This year also marked the first time since the inception of the Fuelwatch Challenge in Malaysia, where a female truck driver made it into Top 3. Hidayu exceeded her own expectations in the challenge. “I have received a lot of support from my friends and family, and I hope my achievement will be an encouragement for all Malaysian women who want to join the trucking industry.”
However, it was last year’s challenge that saw the record being set, when Junaidah Ibrahim made it into the finals, inspiring female participation in this year’s challenge and resulting in eight female truck drivers taking part in the qualifying stages.
Peden said: “This is indeed a proud moment for female truck drivers in Malaysia. Hidayu and Kamila Mohamad Ribi both demonstrated the skills required to drive a truck efficiently and safely is not gender-limited. Female truck drivers have the same ability as their male counterparts to drive at a high skill level on a competitive stage.
“We hope that these talented women will serve as examples of how gender is a non-issue when it comes to driving and I hope that in the future, we will see more talented women participating and potentially winning the Fuelwatch Challenge here in Malaysia.”
Qualification rounds in June and July saw 1 550 driver-participations nationwide, with only the top nine finalists gathering in Shah Alam for the final round.
Also present during the dinner of the Fuelwatch Challenge prize giving ceremony was Dato’ Nazari Akhbar, Executive Director of Taipanco Sdn Bhd, who received seven units of Volvo FH13 trucks in a vehicle handover ceremony. To date, Taipanco has received 17 units of trucks from Volvo and this handover marks the first time that the company is adding the FH model into their fleet.