UD Trucks and its sole distributor partner in Malaysia, Tan Chong Industrial Equipment Sdn Bhd (TCIE), have started to look for the ultimate truck driver in Malaysia with the start of the annual UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge (UDEMC) to identify the Malaysian truck driver who will be most capable in embodying smart logistics for today’s world of modern trucking.
This is the fourth consecutive UDEMC organised in Malaysia, which will ultimately lead to a final round in Japan to face off against truck drivers from other countries. The UDEMC though competitive, is a friendly, educational and motivational truck drivers’ competition that has the objective to increase skills, professionalism and competency through training, theory and practical tests. All drivers who take part are required to go through UD Trucks’ comprehensive driver training programme which is embedded into the competition structure.
Concurrently, the competition aims to retain the good drivers and help them progress and adapt to changes in the industry. When UDEMC was first held in Malaysia in 2016, it was the first such drivers’ competition that was organized by a Japanese truck brand in this market.
“Smart logistics, supported by smart transportation means there is efficiency, profitability, sustainability and safety in the moving of goods and these should co-exist in harmony with the environment and society. Central to this is the ultimate truck driver who is the enabler and who can best symbolise the spirit of this competition,” he added.
“UDEMC is an extension of our brand promise to constantly go the extra mile for our customers. One of the key challenges logistics companies are often faced with today is the shortage of skilled drivers. This competition complements what we do in terms of building smarter trucks the world needs today. Through it, our goal is to also help our customers attract and retain good drivers, and make each one of them an ultimate driver who is adept on saving fuel and operation cost, the truck, the cargo and the environment, and who always puts safety first,” he further commented.
Throughout the competition, each driver has a chance to demonstrate his skills, knowledge and professionalism through a series of tests. The three key test areas are pre-drive inspection on truck condition, fuel efficiency and safety driving, and manoeuvring and parking skills.
The key purpose of the competition structure is to simulate a general transportation cycle and to visualize profitable operation through avoiding downtime, maintaining low-cost operation, preventing accidents and ensuring shorter trip time through efficient driving. All these will link the driver’s skills to business reality.
“The UDEMC is more than just about technical driving ability. It also encourages the drivers to think commercially and how their competency can deliver actual productivity and benefits everyone through fuel efficiency and safety,” Jaclyn Loy, Chief Operating Officer of TCIE shared.
“At the end, each driver will be able to find out how they’ve performed as their test results are monetised into clear and understandable transport cost and revenue calculations.”
“Truck drivers are absolutely essential to the entire smart logistics process. They are the unsung heroes in the economy, moving goods and cargo every single day, rain or shine. Participating in UDEMC will allow them to see their own positive impact as well as instill a sense of pride in their jobs and inspire them to be exceptional smart logistics drivers. This is what the industry needs for its future growth,” added Loy.
The Malaysian round of UDEMC is open to all qualified Malaysian truck drivers who are employed with UD Trucks’ customers and driving the UD Quester truck, as they will be tested using the heavy duty Quester. The competition is being held in stages with the local qualification rounds taking place across Malaysia.
From these rounds, which will be held in Batu Caves, Johor Bahru, Bukit Mertajam and Kuantan, 10 drivers with the best scores will proceed to compete in the Malaysia final competition to be held in TCIE, Ipoh in November 2019. The best of the best from Malaysia will get to represent the country to compete against other foreign truck drivers in the global finals in Japan in April 2020.