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Piotr Krahel crowned world’s best truck driver as ME drivers prove they can compete

Global final of top 33 drivers from 12,000 includes participants from across MEENA region

Polish driver Piotr Krahel claimed the title of the world’s best all-round truck driver at the final of the Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge 2018 last week.

This year’s competition was the largest yet with professional drivers from 33 countries in the final and a total of 12,000 participants in the preceding regional competition.

With finalists being judged on fuel efficiency, productivity and safety across two specially-designed courses, the competition marked the first time that participants from the Middle East, East Africa and North Africa took part.

Regional drivers such as Peshawar General Transport’s Younis Khan from the UAE and his peers from Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Tunisia all performed admirably but they were not able to deny Krahel the title. Before giving his acceptance speech, he told Truck and Fleet Middle East magazine that he had come close in 2016 and was determined to secure the title this time around.

“Winning the Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge is a big achievement for me! The final was really tough and I was up against a lot of very experienced drivers. I’m impressed that Volvo Trucks stages this motivational event which attracts so many drivers from all over the world,” said Krahel.

The Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge brings together all the different challenges that truck drivers face every day, explained Maria Bergving, SVP Brand, Marketing and Communication at Volvo Trucks.

“Their skills are often the decisive factor in the productivity and profitability of our customers. Drivers also make a major contribution to road safety. The final gave us the opportunity to see incredibly skilful drivers doing an impressive job of handling their trucks.”

She added: “The drivers competing for the title achieved excellent performances in each area. They showed that it is possible to have a highly fuel-efficient driving style, deliver a fragile load quickly in good condition and, at the same time, follow the road safety regulations to the letter.”

Volvo Trucks launched the competition with the aim of drawing attention to the important work done by truck drivers in the logistics and transport industry. It is also hoping the event can attract young people to a profession which offers good career opportunities – especially as some markets have a shortage of trained drivers.

“To help our customers to recruit and retain skilled drivers, we have been focusing for many years on the design of the driver’s environment and the drivability of our trucks,” said Lene Larsen, Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge Project Manager. “Driver support systems, which make it easier for drivers to manoeuvre trucks safely, and driver training covering everything from handling trucks to a fuel-efficient driving style are other examples of how we help drivers to do a first-class job and to grow and develop.”

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