UD Trucks Southern Africa is sending two of the brand’s top fleet drivers to Japan to represent South Africa in the global Extra Mile Challenge competition that will take place in November 2017.
This follows the local leg of the annual Extra Mile Challenge driver competition that recently took place at the Gerotek Vehicle Testing Facility where 17 participants from across South Africa competed in either the Quester or Quon extra heavy truck category.
Lafras Kruger from RA Transport in the Eastern Cape walked away with top honours in the Quester category while Buza Ngcelwane from Dairy Farmers of South Africa – also from the Eastern Cape – was named the best Quon driver.
In the process, both Kruger and Ngcelwane qualified to represent South Africa in the global Extra Mile Challenge competition in Japan. The two South African contenders will be joined by their fleet managers at UD Trucks’ headquarters in Ageo where drivers from across the world will compete in the two vehicle categories to ultimately be crowned the champions.
“We greatly value the vital role truck drivers play in our economy and the overall development of the region,” says Gert Swanepoel, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “The Extra Mile Challenge not only tests the skills and efficiency of UD fleet drivers but also goes a long way in raising the standards within fleets. It also creates awareness of the importance of safe and efficient driving.”
Drivers were put through their paces in various challenges that measured efficiency and productivity via on-board telematics on the Quester and the on-board VCU on the Quon models.
Apart from the driving tests, the drivers had to perform some challenging handling and parking tests where accuracy and efficiency were key to success. Drivers also had to complete a pre-drive inspection on the vehicles to ensure the roadworthiness and safety of the trucks.
Kruger and Ngcelwane will start their preparations to compete on a global stage with the assistance of UD Trucks Southern Africa’s product and driving experts. Last year’s local winner, Alfred Ngilo went on to be named the most efficient driver at the international competition.
“The results of the Extra Mile Challenges have once again bolstered our belief in the level of driving skills available in South Africa. We wish Buza and Lafras every success with the global competition in November. We are with you every step of the way,” says Swanepoel.
FleetWatch also extends it congratulations to not only the winners but to all the 17 finalists who made up the competition. Well done to you all. And best of luck to the two winners in Japan. We echo Swanepoel’s sentiment when he says: “We are with you every step of the way.”
Local Results: UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge 2017
View the below clip from the 2016 UD Extra Mile Global Final Challenge.