Top UD fleet driver heads to Japan

UD Trucks Southern Africa announced the brand’s top fleet driver at its annual Extra Mile Challenge driver competition.

Alfred Ngilo, a driver from Clover in KwaZulu-Natal, walked away with top honours, outperforming 20 other participants to be named the most efficient and productive driver after a day of evaluations and challenges at the Gerotek Vehicle Testing Facility.

In the process, Ngilo qualified to represent South Africa in the global Extra Mile Challenge competition that will take place in Japan in November. The event at UD Trucks headquarters in Ageo, Japan, will see drivers from various markets compete in the recently-launched Quester range to determine the champion.

“With our brand promise of ‘Going the Extra Mile’ in mind, we put the challenge to our fleet customers to see whose driver would become the best of the best,” says Gert Swanepoel, acting VP of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “Truck drivers play such a vital role in the success of any fleet company and in the country’s economy, so it is a privilege to recognise and celebrate these valuable skills in this manner.”

Drivers, all using the same UD Quester construction models, were put through their paces in various challenges that measured revenue generated, fuel efficiency, uptime and maintenance costs, as well as safe driving skills. Drivers first had to complete a pre-drive inspection on the vehicles to ensure the roadworthiness and safety of the trucks.

Apart from the driving tests, the drivers also had to perform some challenging handling and parking tests, where accuracy and efficiency were key to success.

UD Trucks’ experts continuously evaluated each team out on the various tracks, and once the course was completed, technicians downloaded and scored the drivers’ fuel efficiency and driving styles according to information retrieved from the trucks’ on-board telematics system.

“The results of the Extra Mile Challenges have bolstered our belief in the level of driving skills available in South Africa. We wish Alfred every success with the global competition in November,” says Swanepoel.

UD Trucks’ versatile Quester range is specifically aimed at developing markets and is ideally suited to industry segments like agriculture, forestry and paper, public utilities, building and construction, mining and petro-chemical.

Topping the UD Extra Mile Challenge 2016 rankings were Alfred Ngilo, Clover; Pinki Chuduku, Vital Distribution (second) and Khumalo Vusumusi, Shoprite (third).