The Quester from UD Trucks.

The Quester from UD Trucks.

UD Trucks selects the ‘ultimate truck driver’

December 2018

UD trucks hosted the final of its ‘Extra Mile Challenge 2018’ last month at the UD Experience Centre at its corporate headquarters in Ageo, Japan. Out of 300 truck drivers from across the globe, only nine participants made it through to the final.

The Extra Mile Challenge is an annual competition, which is part of UD Trucks’ vision for smart logistics providing solutions to the needs of society. The contest seeks to find the world’s ultimate truck driver by simulating the actual truck operation cycle and assessing drivers in the three key areas – pre-driving inspection, fuel efficiency and safe driving, in addition to manoeuvring and parking.

Designed with the driver in mind, the contest demonstrates the company’s commitment to driver education and motivation, while shining the light on the unsung heroes of smart logistics – the truck drivers, according to a company spokesman.

Contestants compete in UD Trucks’ Quester heavy-duty truck, and are measured on effectiveness in operational cost, ability to reduce downtime, and safe and skilled driving.

Commenting on the contest, Mourad Hedna, president of UD Trucks Meena, says: “The 2018 Extra Mile Challenge was a very special event for us. It was the first time a driver from our region competed in the world final.”

Amongst the finalists, Dipendra Balami of Promar Marine Contracting from Qatar, representing the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, was named for ‘Best Driving Skills’ in the final Quester driving challenge. Other finalists included drivers from Japan, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Hedna says the award for ‘Best Driving Skills’ is not an easy category to win; it requires strong knowledge of the Quester truck and expert manoeuvrability skills.

“We’ll be sure to come back in 2019, ready to challenge the world’s truck drivers to the championship,” he adds.

According to the final results for the UD Extra Mile Challenge 2018, Eko Yulianto from Indonesia was declared overall winner. The Best Pre-driving Inspection award went to Thailand; Best Driving Skill to Qatar; and Best Fuel Efficiency to Indonesia. Special awards for Most Cargo-Friendly Driving went to Malaysia and one for Best Safety Mindset went to Mauritius.

UD Trucks marked one of its best performing years in the Middle East last year with significant sales growth across the entire region, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. With its recently expanded range, UD Trucks now offers a wide range of products across both the medium and heavy-duty segments.

In 2016, the heavy-duty Quester truck was launched in the Middle East, followed in May 2017 by the medium-duty Croner truck. The introduction of these robust new products, as well as the addition of the new heavy-duty Quester 40-tonne and the 8x4 rigid, now makes UD Trucks Middle East offering complete.

Supporting the new trucks sales, UD Trucks’ regional offices in Dubai includes a parts distribution centre which delivers over 12,000 different spare parts to UD Trucks partners across the GCC. Thanks to its strategic location in the UAE, UD Trucks importers enjoy short lead times, as well as lower transport and inventory costs to better serve customers in the region.

Founded in 1935, UD Trucks is a leading Japanese commercial vehicle solutions provider, active in more than 60 countries on all continents. The company is committed to go the extra mile for smart logistics with the most dependable solutions for demanding customers. To best support across applications and geographies, UD Trucks offers a full range of heavy-duty (Quon and Quester), medium-duty (Condor and Croner), and light-duty (Kazet and Kuzer) trucks as well as associated operational and financial services.

UD Trucks is a member of the Volvo Group, which in 2017 had net sales of $36.8 billion and 100,000 employees globally.  

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