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Prime Mover Magazine

Volvo Trucks names world driver champion

The winner of the Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge 2018 has been crowned.

Piotr Krahel from Poland was named champion ahead of the next best entrants from Sweden and Finland.

With more qualifying stages and challenges than any previous year, the world final took place last week with professional drivers from 33 countries.

The Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge aims to bring together many of the challenges expected of truck drivers every day.

Maria Bergving, Volvo Trucks Senior Vice President – Brand, Marketing and Communication said the driver skills were often considered the decisive factor in productivity and profitability for Volvo’s customers.

“Drivers also make a major contribution to road safety,” she said.

“The final gave us the opportunity to see incredibly skilful drivers doing an impressive job of handling their trucks.”

It was the sixth running of the bi-annual competition with this year’s event emphasising the relevance of fuel efficiency, productivity and safety.

“The drivers competing for the title achieved excellent performances in each area. They showed that it is possible to have a highly fuel-efficient driving style, deliver a fragile load quickly in good condition and, at the same time, follow the road safety regulations to the letter.”

The competition also serves as a promotional tool for attracting younger drivers to the road transport industry.

Lene Larsen, Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge Project Manager said Volvo had been focusing for many years on the design of the driver’s environment to help its customers recruit and retain skilled drivers.

“Driver support systems, which make it easier for drivers to manoeuvre trucks safely, and driver training covering everything from handling trucks to a fuel-efficient driving style are other examples of how we help drivers to do a first-class job and to grow and develop,” said Larsen.

Eventual victor Piotr Krahel considered winning the Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge a big achievement.

“The final was really tough and I was up against a lot of very experienced drivers,” he said.

“I’m impressed that Volvo Trucks stages this motivational event which attracts so many drivers from all over the world.”

Of the 12,000 drivers who competed 33 drivers managed to qualify for the world final where FH and FMX models were piloted over two tracks.

Krahel, who bested second placed Bert Johansson from Sweden and Simo Laukkanen of Finland, had the highest combined score from the two different driving stations after measuring safety aspects, fuel efficiency and productivity.

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