Aussie in final of Volvo Drivers’ Fuel Challenge
Aussie truck driver, Grant Morice, joins 23 other drivers to compete in the Volvo Drivers’ Fuel Challenge for the title of world’s most fuel-efficient driver.
AUSTRALIAN TRUCK DRIVER, Grant Morice, is one of 23 other truckies from around the world who’ll compete, on the 19 September for the title of Most Fuel-Efficient Driver in the World. More than 11,000 drivers nominated to take part in Volvo Trucks annual and, after numerous local rounds the 23 finalists are winging their way to Sweden for the final.
Morice is something of a dab hand when it comes to piloting trucks fuel efficiently and won the Asia Pacific round of Volvo Trucks 2013 Fuelwatch ahead of 13 other drivers from the region. Prior to that, Morice had defeated local drivers in various state and territory rounds of the competition.
“It’s great, really great! I loved coming here!”, Morice said after winning in 2013. “And I’d like to say thanks! It’s just great what Volvo does. Fuelwatch is good for everyone. It’s getting the word out for saving the environment, and it’s saving companies’ money on fuel.”
And, when you look at the fuel consumption figures, you can see the role the driver plays in keeping fuel use down. Compared to the last-placed driver, the first-ranked Grant Morice achieved an impressive 34% less in fuel consumption. Wow. Morice is from Tasmania and drives trucks for Fonterra.
Ian Sinclair, Product Director of Volvo Trucks Asia Oceania and responsible for the driver training program, explains: “Although the truck is naturally the heart of our offer, there’s much more that we provide to our customers. The best trucks deserve the best drivers. That’s why we invest vast efforts into driver development, providing training in order to get the most out of the truck: maximum efficiency at maximum safety. That way we can create real value for our customers.”
According to Volvo Trucks, the competition is the only one of its kind and is open to all drivers, regardless of the make of truck they drive.
“In the Drivers’ Fuel Challenge we want to highlight the fact that the driver can play a decisive role by adopting a more fuel-efficient driving behaviour. We also know that this is technical skill which all drivers can learn and which will save haulage companies a lot of money in the long-term,” says Vesna Jovic, project manager for the Drivers’ Fuel Challenge at Volvo Trucks.
The 23 finalists were selected after several qualifying rounds held throughout the world.
During the competition the drivers will be assessed on the basis of four different criteria, all of which influence fuel consumption. These include driving and braking, the use of the engine and gearbox and the ability to meet deadlines and to follow traffic regulations. All the drivers will be competing in brand-new Volvo FH trucks equipped with I-Shift automated gearboxes.
The efficiency test will be short and sweet with drivers having only two laps of the Volvo Trucks test track (each lap is 6.9km) to prove they’ve got what it takes. Each lap will follow a different path around the course adding a layer of complexity to the task, as if trying to drive a massive truck wasn’t hard enough. Drivers will have to come to a complete stop several times, tackle grades ranging from 8-16%, complete u-turns, drive on simulated country back roads and simulated highway straights.
Winners of the event will be able to choose from three Volvo-themed events: Volvo Ocean Race, the Volvo China Open, or a holiday in an Ice hotel.