Malaysia competes in Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific and World Fuelwatch Championship

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The winner of Volvo Trucks Malaysia’s Fuelwatch Challenge 2014, Ahmad Bin Othman of Logistik Petikemas Sdn Bhd, Prai, represented Malaysia at the Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific and World Fuelwatch Championship 2014 held at home of Volvo in Gothenburg, Australia, on 16 to 19 September recently.

In July, Ahmad Bin Othman defeated close to 800 other Malaysian truckers to clinch the national top spot when he achieved the lowest fuel consumption recording of just 1 litre for 2.52 kilometres in a 40-kilometre drive challenge pulling a 40-footer, 20-tonne “Prior to taking part in Volvo Trucks’ Fuelwatch Challenge, I knew driving style could affect fuel consumption and the economy of a business but I never had much opportunity to learn and train under an expert.

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“I guess as a regular driver, we tend to take things for granted. I’m glad that the Fuelwatch Challenge has taught me so much and has definitely made me become more aware of the environmental and economic difference I can make as a driver. I am proud to have been able to represent Malaysia in an international driving challenge – it was truly an exciting and memorable experience,” said Ahmad.

He added, “I would like to thank Volvo Trucks and my employer Logistik Petikemas Sdn Bhd for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I look forward to applying the knowledge about safety and fuel saving driving techniques which I have learned into my daily job. It was also interesting to be able to meet the winners from other countries and to exchange tips,” added the 49 year-old driver.

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“It is about creating an awareness of how much difference each individual driver can actually make. Fuelwatch is one way for us to contribute to this. Fuel-efficient driving is something that all drivers can learn, but it takes time and hard work every day,” said Mats Nilsson, Managing Director of Volvo Trucks Malaysia on September 17.

The 14 drivers competed in two categories, handling the new Volvo FH 6×2 in the on- road competition, and the Volvo FMX 8×4 in the off-road category. The winner in the Asia Pacific off-road driving championship was Myeongseong Kim from South Korea.

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The winner of the Asia Pacific on-road driving championship was Scott Harvey from Australia. Both were awarded with a trip to the Volvo Ocean Race Stopover in Auckland, New Zeland, in March 2015. Together with first runner-up Houliang Liu from China and second runner-up Tsung-Chen Liu from Taiwan, the three on-road category drivers joined an elite group of 23 top truck drivers to compete in the Global Final.

The on-road final was held at Stora Holm, located nearby Gothenburg, the hometown of Volvo Trucks, in Sweden. The new Volvo FH 6×2 had to be driven over a course of 5.4 km. The off-road competition required the Volvo FMX 8×4 to be driven around a 3.8 km off-road circuit that was located at the Volvo Demo Center.

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Among the five best drivers in the on-road category, APAC champion Scott Harvey expertly navigated the course, consuming up to 14 percent less fuel than his contestants. This wide margin underscores how important it is for drivers to be fuel-efficient in their day-to-day operations.

In the global Fuelwatch Finals, Christian Scheiflinger from Austria took home victory when he won the title of the “World’s most fuel efficient driver” in the world finals of the competition. The Volvo Trucks Fuelwatch Challenge is a competence development effort to raise the skill level of its drivers, increase fuel efficiency and consciousness to the environment.

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During the competition, the drivers are assessed on the basis of their fuel consumption as well as general vehicle handling, safe driving methods and overall productivity.

Christophe Martin, President of Volvo Trucks in Asia Oceania, said, “A normal-sized haulage business could spend up to half its operating cost on fuel. Through Fuelwatch, we want to emphasize that fuel-efficient driving is a technical skill that could be learned, and mastery in these could have a big positive impact on the environment and our customers’ bottomlines. Volvo is committed to Fuelwatch as an ongoing platform to educate and train drivers, and working together with our customers to drive progress for our industry.”

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The regional competition saw participation from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand – where more than 5,800 participants from 12 countries in the Asia Pacific pitted their driving skills in national competitions over the course of a few months. A total of 14 representatives headed for the Asia Pacific regional final, held in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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