Hino recently kicked off the first ever professional driver's skill competition in Malaysia for the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) category at the Hino Total Support Customer Centre (HTSCC) in Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan.
The two-day event held on September 4 and 5 witnessed the participation of 16 companies and 28 eager drivers who tested their driving skills through several challenges and programmes. Most of the participants had gone through the HTSCC professional drivers' training programme which focused on safety, defensive driving, fuel-saving driving, and drivers familiarisation training.
The Hino Ultimate Drive 2018 competition comprehensively tested participants in four areas namely theory, practical driving skills, daily vehicle inspection habits and fuel-efficient economy driving.
Under the theory section, participants answered 50 questions on general safety and driving knowledge. Asian Trucker caught up with participant Mohd Sahrullizal Che Said, 39, from Radifleet Sdn Bhd who said the questions were quite tough. "We were briefed on the competition format and we already knew that there would be a theory section but if we didn't study for it, we wouldn't be able do well." Sahrullizal prepared for the competition by studying on safety and engine care and practising his driving skills.
Although he had been driving for Radifleet for 12 years, the five-tonne truck used in the competition differed from the 18-tonne truck that Sahrullizal drove for work every day. "I'm not used to it, but I did manage to get in a few practice sessions with a five-tonne truck. Not only the driving style, but the engine is also different," he said. With 27 other competitors and this being the first competition by Hino, Sahrullizal did not know what to expect in terms of achievement and just aimed to do his best. "This competition will help me be a better driver and I can also contribute to my company by being more fuel-efficient," he added while waiting for his turn for the next section which was driving skills.
The driving skills section covered seven areas namely hill start, triangular crank, "S" shape crank, reverse garage parking, reverse parallel parking, right angle crank and narrow road driving. This went on until about 4pm before competitors were brought back to the hotel to re-energise for the next day.
Day 2 saw them tested on daily vehicle inspection including engine check, brake, and clutch, oil leakage, visibility, electrical equipment, and tyres. They also showcased their skills on fuel-efficient driving techniques and consumption.
Hino Motor Sales (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Managing Director, Ken Iwamoto said through this competition, Hino also wanted to help boost the brand image and productivity of their customers.
"Road safety has always been a paramount concern in Malaysia. Hino is doing its part to help reduce the accident rate due to the human error via defensive driving training programme and competition. We also hope to contribute towards the cost-effectiveness of our customers' businesses operations through the inclusion of eco-driving techniques and habits," he said.