Volvo truck engineers recognise that fuel economy remains the prime target of fleets, and its engineers work hard to extend the life of diesel engines in transport.
But despite the most radical advances in diesel engine and driveline technology, it remains a fact that a major part of the fuel efficiency story rests with the driver.
With that in mind Volvo Trucks runs the Fuelwatch Challenge each year across its global markets. This year, a total of 4280 drivers entered local competitions, narrowing the search for excellence to 18 finalists.
The annual challenge finals in Volvo’s Swedish hometown Gothenburg tested and rewarded some of the world’s best drivers in fuel efficient driving. Finalists from more than 13 countries drove FH or FMX trucks on either on-road or off-road courses.
Two categories were tested, with 11 contestants contesting the on-road segment, and a further 7 the off-road section.
Volvo used its Dynafleet online telematics system to evaluate the finalists. The system software live-monitored fuel consumption and gathered a detailed profile of each driver’s performance.
The Fuelwatch Challenge focuses intensely on the driver, and highlights how driving skills can have a direct impact on safety, fuel consumption, profitability and carbon footprint.
Significantly for Australiasia, 27 year-old Johnny Baxter from New Zealand topped the rest of the world in the on-road competition with a 10.1 per cent fuel saving compared to his second the third placed competitiors.
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Taehun Kim from Korea was crowned the most fuel-efficient driver in the off-road category with a saving of four per cent over the runner-up.
Local drivers should note the next time the Challenge opens. A trip to Sweden as a finalist looks great on the CV.