It would seem the trucking industry in Australia and New Zealand is something special, as both countries have picked up winners’ gongs in recent Asia-wide competitions. The technicians from Prestons in NSW have won their Scania Top Team Asia final, once again, and a female truckie has outclassed the boys to win the Asian final of the global Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge.
Known as the ‘Wizards of Aus’, the Top Team entrants from the Scania dealership in Prestons NSW won their third successive Regional Final in China last weekend. They competed in a workshop skills competition against teams from all across Asia.
The Aussie team team will now defend its 2011 and 2013 back-to-back victories in the Top Team World Final. The bi-annual workshop battle attracts teams from 1600 workshops across the global Scania organisation. TheWorld Final will be held in Sweden at the end of this year.
The 2015 team, Frank Muscat, Logan Hoser, Chris Nobbs, Benn Jeffery and Phil Sage, are coached by Scania’s National Technical Support Manager Jason Grech and his National Technical Support colleague, Steve Watson.
The 2015 Asian Regional Final took place in Guangzhou, China, in hot and humid 35oC conditions. The winning team completed 10 challenges and at the end, the runners up, China, were 24 points adrift, finishing ahead of the United Arab Emirates team.
“We maintained a solid scoring rate throughout the challenges, and that gave us the momentum we needed to secure the outright win, which is very gratifying,” said Jason Grech after the event. “The competition kicked off at 7.30am and ran through to 5.00pm and covered 5 primary stations and 5 support stations, where a variety of tasks tested our guys across a series of technology and fault diagnosis issues.”
Also running over last weekend was the Volvo Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015 in the Thai city of Hua Hin. A Kiwi truckie, Louise Marriott, was declared the most fuel-efficient driver in the on road category. She became the first female driver in the competition’s history to achieve a podium finish at the event.
During the event, participants attended a one day training session on fuel efficient driving techniques and technical expertise, followed by the Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge grand finals on the second day.
17 drivers from around the Asia Pacific region qualified for the on road and off road categories at the Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015. The competition included four women, reflecting the expanding number of female drivers in the truck driving community in the region.
“I’m absolutely pleased to be this year’s most fuel efficient driver and to be the first contestant to bring the trophy home to New Zealand,” said Louise Marriott. “While our industry is often thought of as being male dominated, the Fuelwatch Challenge has been a great platform for us to show that all drivers, regardless of gender, can perform at the highest level while being fuel-efficient. I look forward to sharing the experience at Fuelwatch with my colleagues back home.”
In winning the Fuelwatch Challenge, Louise recorded 17.5 per cent less fuel consumed, when compared to the highest amount of fuel burnt on the day.
“I am delighted and proud to witness history made at this year’s Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015, with the first female driver joining the ranks of past Fuelwatch winners,” said Christophe Martin, President of Volvo Trucks in Asia Oceania. “Louise’s achievements will no doubt encourage aspiring female drivers, which will benefit the industry as a whole.
“We at Volvo Trucks are firmly committed to the Fuelwatch mission of optimising performance at minimum cost to businesses, society and the environment. Since our inaugural event in 2007, the more than 15,000 participants of the Fuelwatch Challenge have become ambassadors of the Fuelwatch community, sharing the skills and technical knowledge that they have picked up at the event to catalyse our goal of a fuel-efficient industry.”