The annual UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge 2018 Finals were held recently at the UD Experience Center in its Ageo, Japan corporate headquarters. Nine finalists, selected from 300 initial participants who underwent local qualifying rounds held in 9 countries, competed for the coveted crown of Ultimate Driver in the Quester truck and Quon truck categories. The countries represented at the Final were Japan, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar and Thailand. The UD Quon heavy-duty truck is not sold in Malaysia and as such, we do not compete in this category.
The UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge reproduces an actual truck operation cycle, assessing drivers in the three key areas of pre-driving inspection, fuel efficiency and safe driving, and maneuvering and parking. The UD Extra Mile Challenge is a quest to find the ultimate driver, measuring effectiveness in operational cost and reduced downtime in addition to safe and skilled driving.
“I am so pleased and honoured. I think the key to success is to remain calm during the activity. If you are not calm, you can make mistakes even if you’re a good driver. I am very confident and mentally ready, but I’m not perfect. I know I have to keep striving. I still have a way to go to become the ultimate driver,” said Eko Yulianto after receiving his award.
Sharing his happiness at receiving the Special Award, Muhammad Khairul Bin Abd Hashim of Setia Maju Jaya Logistik Sdn Bhd said, “To be able to come this far into the competition has been a dream come true! I have learned a lot from all the contestants at this global round and I will definitely share what I’ve learned with all my fellow truck drivers back home!”
For UD Trucks, the quest to find the ultimate driver is part of its vision of smart logistics providing solutions to society’s needs. “Further efficiency in distribution is essential to meet the rapidly growing demand for parcel delivery. Competition in the distribution sector is also becoming more intense, while at the same time there is a severe labor shortage, particularly of skilled drivers. Despite those challenges, we have to be ever mindful of environmental issues, congestion and safety,” explained Kishi Nobuhiko, Senior Vice President, Brand, Communication and Products. “This is why we say the world needs smart logistics which is efficient and profitable, safe and sustainable, and people friendly logistics,” he continued.
Takamitsu Sakamaki, UD Trucks President and Representative Director, observed that the trucks and the people who drive them represent the interface between smart logistics and the society. “That’s why we support driver development with initiatives such as today’s Extra Mile Challenge, to raise their awareness of what is essential for the ultimate driver.”
Jacques Michel, President, Volvo Group Trucks Asia & JVs Sales reflected on the achievements and determination of the drivers “The performances of these ‘ultimate drivers’ reaffirmed our view that the role of a skillful driver is pivotal to better profitability for our customers’ businesses. We are not only celebrating the winners but also the positive impact we have made to the industry and society at large”.
The company takes the view that people depend on logistics, and logistics depends on people. UD trucks are designed with the driver in mind. The UD Extra Mile Challenge demonstrates the company’s commitment to driver education and motivation, while shining the light on the unsung heroes of smart logistics – the truck drivers. It serves as a symbol for UD Trucks’ going the extra mile for customer success and commitment to support all aspects of smart logistics.
The results of UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge 2018 are as follows:
Ultimate Driver: Indonesia
Customer: PT Duta Lintas Nusa
Driver: Eko Yulianto
Best Pre-driving Inspection: Thailand
Best Driving Skill: Qatar
Best Fuel Efficiency: Indonesia
Most Cargo-friendly Driving: Malaysia
Best Safety Mindset: Mauritius
Ultimate Driver: Singapore
Customer: BHS Kinetic Pte Ltd.
Driver: Mohd Hisham
Best Pre-driving Inspection: Japan
Best Driving Skill: Singapore
Best Fuel Efficiency: Singapore
Best Green-band Driving: South Africa
Best Sweet-spot Driving: Australia