Austrian truck driver, Cristian Scheiflinger, has won the Volvo Trucks’ Global Drivers’ Fuel Challenge 2014 in Sweden, beating Australian hopefuls Grant Morice and Scott Harvey.

THE VOLVO TRUCKS’ Global Drivers’ Fuel Challenge 2014 at Gothenburg, Sweden has been run and won with Austria’s Christian Scheiflinger (pictured) taking first place. Runner-up was Tomi Roimola from Finland with Aare Müil from Estonia taking third place. The two Australian competitors, Grant Morice and Scott Harvey just missed out.

“All the 23 finalists possess great skills. You have to adapt to traffic and know how to use the enormous power of a fully-loaded truck in motion. The difference is that a knowledgeable driver knows how they should use their truck’s weight to their advantage,” says Andrew Low, Driver Development Manager at Volvo Trucks.

According to Volvo, “for an average-sized haulage company, fuel costs account for just over one-third of spending. Volvo Trucks’ own figures show that a fuel-efficient driver can save up to 10% in reduced fuel consumption, which in the long run means big savings for a trucking company and could ultimately reduce carbon emissions in the EU by up to 20 million tonnes per year,” a statement read.

Christian Scheiflinger from Austria, says: “It’s very important to know the system; you have to know how the vehicle reacts on your input. If you have the full understanding of the vehicle, what it’s doing and how it reacts, you can improve your driving and improve the fuel efficiency”.

The Volvo Trucks’ Global Drivers’ Fuel Challenge saw drivers assessed on four different criteria, including driving and braking, the use of the engine and gearbox and the ability to meet deadlines and to follow traffic regulations. All the drivers competed in brand-new Volvo FH trucks equipped with I-Shift automated gearboxes.

The efficiency test was short and sweet with drivers having only two laps of the Volvo Trucks test track (each lap is 6.9km) to prove they had what it takes. Each lap followed a different path around the course adding a layer of complexity to the task. Drivers had 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.

Volvo’s top tips for truckies:

1. Adapt to traffic: In fuel-efficient driving, the driver needs to learn to read and adapt to the traffic situation. One must drive as smoothly and evenly as possible – all the time.

2. Stay ahead: The driver must always be prepared for unexpected events – the car in front can brake or a bike can emerge from around the next corner. A fuel-efficient driver is a driver who is attentive and who constantly stays one step ahead of other traffic users.

3. Get to know your truck: To get the maximum out of a truck you have to know it and all its functions as well as possible. Good knowledge of how your truck works and about what kind of driving is required in different situations is a huge step towards reducing fuel consumption.


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