Monday, August 08, 2016

Truck News: Volvo Trucks Malaysia 2016 Fuelwatch Challenge Malaysia - Zulkifli bin Saad crowned the 2016 fuelsaving King


The Fuelwatch Challenge 2016 by Volvo Trucks has been won by Zulkifli bin Saad. Zulkifli, who hails from Penang. This is the 7th year the very popular annual Volvo Trucks Fuelwatch Challenge has been held in Malaysia and this year, Volvo Trucks have made some changes to the competition by adding expert mentors in the form of part winners and also by adding the Volvo DynaFleet Management system to be used to monitor driver and truck performance.

He was crowned the Champion of the fuel saving Challenge by clocking 2.83km per liter of fuel driving the Volvo FM440 while carrying a load of 20 tonnes covering 40km on real roads. He will be making his way to the Fuelwatch Challenge 2016 Asia Pacific in Sweden next month. Zulkifli, works with Prifaria Sdn Bhd. The awards ceremony was held last saturday at Volvo Truck's Flagship Centre located at Port Klang. A fabulous place to have a rockin' good time!

If you have been following the Fuelwatch Challenge, you may also note that last year's winner, Mr Nor Rahmat Abd Talib also works for Prifaria and is also based in Penang! Another interesting bit of news is that this was Zulkifli's first time participating in the competition. First time's a charm. A big hand goes out to the management of Prifaria who have without fail allowed their drivers to be the best in what they do.


Zulkifli  emerged victor ahead of Norhadima bin Umar from Megah Transport Sdn Bhd who drove 2.76 kilometers using 1 liter of fuel and Samsudin bin Abdul Hamid from MISC Intergrated Logistic Sdn Bhd who placed 3rd using 2.69 kilometers using 1 liter of fuel. All used a similar Volvo FM440 Prime Mover with equal loads of 20 tonnes covering the same roads (traffic conditions may differ). Zulkifli also mentioned that he was actually slightly unlucky during the semi-finals as his turn was sometime during the busy afternoon period which coincided with the Muslim Friday prayers. It is things like this that actually makes managing the drive even trickier than it already is. The finals were held in and around Volvo Truck's Shah Alam centre.


Now getting to the latest aspects of this years Fuelwatch Challenge. Last year’s champion Nor Rahmat Abd Talib, Ahmad Othman (Champion from 2014 - seen right above giving some tips to the competitors) and Zamri Abd Rahman (Champion from 2013) shared their know-how and experience with the 19 semifinalists a day prior to the event and after, mentoring them on the best ways to tackle the competition’s driving and fuel efficiency tests. 

The three past winners (L to R 2013, 2015, 2014) - All in safety vests with a Volvo Trucks rep

This idea where past winners are brought in as mentors is in-line with Volvo’s Driver Development initiative, a training programme that has fully-competent certified Volvo driver trainers coaching their peers to ensure maximum road safety and efficiency. I suppose it does work for when asked, the coaching did help the three finalists. I asked 2015 champion Mr Rahmat, how much of his knowledge did he give out to his 'understudy' and colleague. He said that he imparted all that he knew. Not even holding back a tiny bit.

Fuelwatch Challenge 2016 saw over 36% increase in participation, with over 50% of contestants returning again to test their mettle. Every truck driver I asked eagerly looks forward to participating in Fuelwatch if given the opportunity by their company. This year was also another record year in terms of attendance.

It also saw participants using Volvo’s proprietary Dynafleet Management, an online fleet management system introduced locally in 2015. The system is aimed at improving fuel efficiency, producing better vehicle utilization and reducing maintenance costs. Dynafleet allows transportation-based companies to manage their fleet of trucks efficiently and easily. The subscription-based telematics solution streamlines the planning and execution of transport assignments to give companies the opportunity to gauge fleet and driver performance, measure fuel consumption, track location and communicate with individual trucks and drivers via a user-friendly app. Drivers, meanwhile, benefit from the reports generated by the system which enables their companies to highlight development areas as well as tailor make trainings for them. So with Dynafleet, monitoring of the drivers' results is more precise than ever during this Malaysian leg of the Fuelwatch Challenge. This makes the competition on par with the regional finals. 

Aside from all of that, Fuelwatch Challenge 2016 also introduced a safety campaign called the ‘Know Your Blind Spots Campaign’. The initiative and its corresponding activities aim to create awareness among road users and truck drivers on identifying blind spots and practicing proper road etiquette. The platform is a great place to create awareness as drivers from all corners of the country get together for the competition. 

The Fuelwatch Challenge is a great experience for everyone who had witnessed it. From the organisers, Volvo Trucks, the drivers, the company managers who attended and gave support, the support crew for the events all noticed the camaraderie between the drivers from all over the country. Almost all are Volvo drivers. All are filled with enthusiasm and every one of them want a chance to be crowned Fuelwatch Champion. There is so much energy usually that even I myself look forward to meeting up with them. It is also nice to know that every time I attend a Fuelwatch event I see regular faces (past champions, drivers, trainers) who actually recognise me. All walks of life folks. It makes things very interesting for me. 

Those that have participated would already know what the competition is all about. Everyone wants another go at trying to win (even past champions want another shot at the top - and would only be allowed after a gap of at least two years if I am not mistaken. The Fuelwatch Challenge is a big thing for them. Eagerly awaited year after year.

And now I wish Zulkifli all the best in the upcoming Asia Pacific finals next month in Gottenburg, Sweden. Make us proud!! Malaysia Boleh!

One of the three brand new Volvo FM440 Prime Movers used for the finals - the trucks used for the competition were generously provided by long time Volvo Truck operators, Taipanco Sdn Bhd, who actually took official delivery of the three units on the night of the awards ceremony (Saturday, 6th August). The photo below shows representatives from Taipanco receiving the mock key during the short handing over ceremony prior to the announcement of the Fuelwatch Challenge winners. 


Semi-Finalists

Mr Law Ah Tiong, Vice President, After Market, Volvo Malaysia (1st from left) together with the winners and their respective company representatives at the Fuelwatch Gala Carnival 2016 in Volvo Malaysia Sdn Bhd's Flagship in Port Klang 

Pre-announcement interview with the finalists - 2nd Runner up Samsudin bin Abdul Hamid from MISC Integrated Logistics Sdn Bhd, 1st Runner up, Norhadima bin Umar from Megah Transport Sdn Bhd & Fuelwatch Challenge 2016 Champion Zulkifli bin Saad from Prifaria Sdn Bhd. Note that both Zulkifli and Samsudin are actually Fuelwatch 'virgins' - first time participation for both of them. Mr Norhadima is a four time veteran and first time finalist. Kudos to all!

PRESS RELEASE (and more photos after the press release)

Malaysia's Premier Fuelwatch Challenge 2016

In-country competition of the global challenge debuts champion mentors and online management system while continuing to focus on fuel-efficiency, safety



PORT KLANG, August 8 2016 - Semifinalists of the 2016 Fuelwatch Challenge by Volvo

Trucks Malaysia held an added advantage when they tackled the annual real-time driving

competition – expert and personalised advice from the event’s past winners.

Last year’s champion Nor Rahmat Abd Talib, Ahmad Othman (Champion from 2014) and Zamri

Abd Rahman (Champion from 2013) shared their know-how and experience with the 19

semifinalists a day prior to the event and after, mentoring them on the best ways to tackle the

competition’s driving and fuel efficiency tests.

Their expert tips and tricks paid off in spades for winner Zulkifli bin Saad, who displayed

precision, patience and exemplary driving skills in securing bragging rights as the nation’s most

fuel-efficient truck driver in what is arguably the most popular competition of its kind in the world.

Zulkifli, who works with Prifaria Sdn Bhd claimed the 7th edition of the Challenge by achieving

the lowest fuel consumption, clocking 2.83 kilometres with just 1 liter of fuel while carrying a

load of 20 tonnes in an FM 440 with i-Shift. He posted a time of 1:07 minutes during the driving

challenge covering a total of 40km.

For his efforts, the 38-year- old who currently resides in Penang will not only represent Malaysia

at the Fuelwatch Asia Pacific Final in Sweden next month, but also takes home a BSN voucher

worth RM5,000 and other exclusive Volvo goodies. In Sweden, he will go head-to- head against

other APAC winners to claim the title of the region’s most fuel-efficient driver.

“Winning Fuelwatch Challenge is undoubtedly the highlight of my career behind the wheel,” said

Zulkifli. “I have been training hard for this competition, especially on means of conserving fuel,

but I don’t think I would have done so well without the advice and knowledge provided by our

champion mentors.”

He continued, “The competition had also shown me that every little drop of fuel mattered when it

comes to operating costs and achieving great fuel savings. And being a part of this competition,

it has further taught me the importance of road safety and how everyone has a responsibility to

keep each other safe on the roads. The Volvo Trucks ‘Know Your Blind Spots’ campaign helped

me further understand and be more conscious of my surroundings when sharing the road with

other users.”

He added, however, that his win had placed a heavy responsibility on his shoulders.

“There has never been a Malaysian winner at the final, but I hope to be the one that flies our

flag high,” he said. “I would also like to share the knowledge and skills I’ve picked up with others

to help them understand that a fuel-efficient driver is one of the most important factors for both

the environment and a company’s economy.”

Second place went to Norhadima bin Umar from Megah Transport Sdn Bhd who drove 2.76

kilometers using 1 liter of fuel. He won a RM3,000 BSN voucher and a Challenge trophy while

Samsudin bin Abdul Hamid from MISC Intergrated Logisctic Sdn Bhd who placed 3 rd , won a

RM2,000 BSN voucher and a similar trophy. He registered 2.69 kilometers using 1 liter of fuel.

The respective companies won a year’s subscription to Dynafleet, Volvo’s very own fleet

management system.

The decision to introduce past winners as mentors is in-line with Volvo’s Driver Development

initiative, a training programme that has fully-competent certified Volvo driver trainers coaching

their peers to ensure maximum road safety and efficiency. The programme, which offers

learning modules on economical, safety and defensive driving, aims to give drivers the

necessary information and skill to use vehicle functions and features in an efficient, safe

manner.

Volvo Driver Development also aspires to improve and enhance the career development of

drivers with high potential and provide programme-certified drivers the opportunity to train

As with its six previous editions, this year’s Challenge looked to increase awareness on the

importance of fuel efficiency, promote greater sustainability and lessen environmental impact. It

is also geared towards educating drivers, fleet managers, customers and stakeholders on the

importance of best practices to reduce fuel consumption and cost as well as boost profitability.

Dynafleet makes its debut

Fuelwatch Challenge 2016 saw over 36% increase in participation, with over 50% of contestants

returning again to test their mettle. It also saw participants using Volvo’s proprietary Dynafleet

Management, an online fleet management system introduced locally in 2015. Aimed at

improving fuel efficiency, producing better vehicle utilization and reducing administration,

Dynafleet allows transportation-based companies to manage their fleet of trucks efficiently and

The subscription-based telematics solution streamlines the planning and execution of transport

assignments to give companies the opportunity to gauge fleet and driver performance, measure

fuel consumption, track location and communicate with individual trucks and drivers via a user-

friendly app. Drivers, meanwhile, benefit from the reports generated by the system which

enables their companies to highlight development areas as well as tailor make trainings for them.

Fuelwatch Challenge 2016 also introduced a safety campaign called the ‘Know Your Blind

Spots Campaign’. The initiative and its corresponding activities aim to create awareness among

road users and truck drivers on identifying blind spots and practicing proper road etiquette.

“The Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge has continuously become a key platform that educates drivers,

fleet managers, customers and other stakeholders about the importance of good driving

practices. All these lead to improved fuel efficiency, reduced cost and increased profitability, as

well as increasing awareness on safety. This year, the Fuelwatch Challenge was different from

previous years because drivers were competing in Volvo Trucks fitted with Dynafleet, Volvo’s

fleet management system. The system was used to gauge the fuel efficiency of the drivers

during the competition. We’ve also a safety campaign with the aim to create awareness among

truck drivers and other road users, about the importance of blind spots, especially in the

presence of large trucks,” said Law Ah Tiong, Vice President, After Market.

The Fuelwatch Challenge, which receives strong support from Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan

(JPJ), was first introduced to Asia Pacific in Korea in 2007 and to date has seen over 15,000

participants picking up fuel-efficient driving skills, information and technical know-how. The

country competition, opened to all truck drivers in Malaysia, kicked-off April 19 in Kuching before

proceeding to Bintulu and Kota Kinabalu in East Malaysia.

In Peninsular Malaysia, the Challenge was held at Volvo Trucks Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s flagship

dealership in Port Klang for the first time before moving to Ipoh, Prai, Kuantan and Johor Bahru.

For more information, contact Volvo Trucks Malaysia Customer Service Centre at 012-

3731030/ 019-2401030 or visit the official Volvo Trucks Malaysia Facebook page at

www.facebook.com/VolvoTrucksMalaysia.

– Ends –





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