Monday, August 27, 2018

Trucks: The 2018 Fuelwatch Challenge Malaysia Champion is Haree Murughan

Haree Murughan A/L Muniandy from ASTRO Productions Sdn Bhd has won this year's Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge. For 2018, 1550 drivers had participated in the qualifications held nationwide between June and July this year, with only the top 9 finalists gathered at Shah Alam for the final round of this annual driver's competition.

Second place was Mdm. Hidayu Binti Sabaran (above) from Nittsu Transport Service (M) Sdn Bhd, and third place was Mohd Harun Bin Mohd Yusop (below) from Fima Freight Forwarders Sdn Bhd. This year also marks the first time since the inception of the Fuelwatch Challenge in Malaysia, where a female truck driver made it into top 3. Last year, we had another lady who made it to the finals and this time around, Hidayu has taken it another step further. Another milestone for the fairer sex in the trucking industry.

The results were announced during a gala dinner at Volvo Trucks’ Port Klang dealer, where 9 of the best truck drivers from Malaysia had gathered to await the results of the competition. Haree, the winner of the 2018 Malaysian Fuelwatch Challenge received a RM 5,000 Bank Simpanan Nasional voucher and a trophy commemorating his victory. He will also be representing Malaysia in the Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge Global Final in Gothenburg, Sweden later this year.

Speaking at the event, Mitchell Peden, Managing Director of Volvo Trucks Malaysia. took time to congratulate Haree, “We would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Haree on winning this year’s Fuelwatch challenge. He has succeeded in embodying the core purpose of the Fuelwatch Challenge, which is intended to promote safe and fuel-efficient driving among truck drivers,” 

Volvo Trucks’ annual Fuelwatch Challenge is aimed at promoting maximum fuel efficiency and proper driving skills among truck drivers in Malaysia, through a unique and challenging competitive platform. The competition is open to drivers across Malaysia with two separate categories, the closed category and the open category (something slightly different from the usual format this year). We also note that Haree has broken the stranglehold by oil & gas truck drivers who seem to be the drivers winning year after year (from what we have observed over the past few years since covering this event).

Haree said “I am overjoyed to have won the Fuelwatch Challenge this year. As a professional truck driver, I have always admired the effort Volvo Trucks has put into educating drivers on the importance of fuel efficiency and safety in all aspects of driving. After participating in the Fuelwatch Challenge Finals for the third time, the challenge has not only allowed me to further develop my skills and knowledge, but it also taught me to never give up until I have achieved my goal.”

The winner of the Fuelwatch Challenge is determined by the best combination of Fuel efficiency (measured using Volvo Trucks’ internet based telematics system: Dynafleet , productivity and safety whilst also demonstrating that they have the ability to handle the different trucks used during the course of the challenge.

As for interesting milestones, this year also marks the first time ever in the Fuelwatch Challenge in Malaysia, where a female truck driver (Hidayu) made it into top 3. Ms. Hidayu had this to say about making it to the finals...and more, “I am truly happy to have exceeded my own expectations in this challenge. I have received a lot of support from my friends and family, and I hope my achievement will be an encouragement for all the women in Malaysia who want to join the trucking industry.”

Last year marked the first time a lady made it to the final round. Mdm Junaidah Bte Ibrahim made it into the finals, inspiring female participation in this year’s challenge and resulting in 8 female truck drivers taking part in the qualifying stages this year. The floodgates have been opened and things should get to be more interesting in years to come. From what we heard, Junaidah had things hard being the first. There were uncalled for name-calling (for lack of a better word) and bad mouthing behind her back just because she isn't a 'he'. Well, it is good that this year more women have come forth to give the men a run for their money. Women drivers making it to the country finals aren't new elsewhere around the world. 

“This is indeed a proud moment for female truck drivers in Malaysia. Hidayu and Kamila Binti Mohamad Ribi both demonstrate to us that the skill required to drive a truck efficiently and safely is not gender limited. It is clear that female truck drivers have the same ability as their male counterparts to drive at a high skill level on a competitive stage,” said Mitchell. 

“We hope that these talented women will serve as examples of how gender is a non-issue when it comes to driving and I hope that in the future, we will see more talented women participating and potentially winning the Fuelwatch Challenge here in Malaysia.” added Mitchell

Also present during the dinner of the Fuelwatch Challenge prize giving ceremony was Dato’ Nazari Hj Akhbar, Executive Director of Taipanco Sdn Bhd, who received 7 units of Volvo FH13 trucks in a vehicle handover ceremony. Taipanco have received 17 units of trucks from Volvo Trucks recently and this handover marks the first time that the company is adding the FH model into their fleet.

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