Emerging as a top driver, Glenn ‘Yogi’ Kendall has taken out this year’s Scania Truck Driver Competition. In the fifth Australian version of Scania’s global challenge to find the country’s best truck driver, the extrovert owner-driver of Kendall Trucking & Co was ecstatic to finish ahead of a field of finalists, including a female competitor for the first time.
All finalists were challenged to undertake 10 manoeuvring activities behind the wheel of a Scania G 480 prime mover pulling a Freighter curtainsider, undertake a dog-leg reversing test in a G 480 B-double, and a drive of Melbourne’s roads in a G 480 pulling a Schmitz Cargobull pantech.
In the classroom, each of the finalists had to answer 30 road rule questions as well as undertake a simulated media interview to gauge their views on the transport industry and how to improve the lot of transport drivers.
Yogi is no stranger to the limelight as this video shows. He has also appeared on the Outback Truckers series of TV shows and has a considerable following on Facebook with close to 20,000 followers.
“It’s amazing, unbelievable,” said Yogi, after the event. “I felt I got one of the first tests wrong, so I had to stop and take stock and then focus on every element of the manoeuvring. I had to give everything 110 per cent. The switch to a cab-over Scania was one of the biggest things to get to grips with during the tests.
“This event is good to meet other like-minded passionate people who want to push themselves forward in this industry. You have got to be in to win it.”
Yogi has a burning passion for setting to right some of the issues he has seen in 20 years driving and 4 years as the owner of his own business, Kendall Trucking & Co, based Katanning in South West WA.
“The general public’s perception of trucking is they see lumps of metal going down the road,” said Yogi. “They don’t see that the ‘someone’ behind that lump of metal is a real life person that deals with real life situations and has a life outside of trucks.
“We need more education and a massive revamp in the transport industry to bring a better level of understanding (of what we do) and then be able to attract better level of driver to the industry,” he said.
Unfortunately, some episodes of Outback Truckers are no longer available online, but Diesel News has dug up this snippet of Yogi in action. However, the commentary may be difficult to follow, it’s in French:
To get an idea of the kind of tests these drivers go through, here’s the previous event in 2014.
In Europe, the competition attracts a large following and climaxes with this three way shoot out for the European title: