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SA truckie wins UD’s Australian Extra Mile Challenge

Steve Gould, who drives for B&D Crane Trucks in Adelaide, has come out on top in UD’s driver skill based competition.

The UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge tests drivers across several key areas, aiming to demonstrate how improvements in driver behaviour can translate to safer driving, improved fuel consumption and reduced wear and tear on vehicles. Gould recorded the highest percentage increase in performance over the 12-week competition.

Though the plan was for Gould to travel to UD Trucks headquarters in Ageo, Japan to compete in the Extra Mile Challenge Global final, the COVID-19 pandemic means a virtual ceremony will take place instead to award the winners from across the globe.

For the Australian competition, drivers were hand-picked by UD Trucks’ customers to compete in the challenge. There were 12 drivers from three UD Trucks dealerships chosen to participate in the competition, supported by dedicated dealership Fuel Watch Managers.

Drivers were monitored through the course of the competition via the truck’s telematics system, with the winner determined by the highest positive percentage change in driver score across the competition. The UD Telematics system measures drivers against anticipation and braking, engine and gear utilisation, speed adaptation and standstill to produce an overall driver score.

As well as a whopping 230% increase on his original starting position, Gould also finished the 12 weeks with the highest average driver’s score of 89 out of 100.

Throughout the competition, Gould had regular check-ins with his Fuel Watch Manager, Chris Moar, from South Central Truck & Bus in Adelaide.

“We had several conversations where I was able to use the data I had from the truck’s telematics system to update Steve on his progress. We also talked about the best ways to improve in the various areas, so he could consistently improve his score and maintain safe and fuel efficient driving practices.”

Gould’s driver score wasn’t the only improvement B&D Crane Trucks saw over the course of the competition.

“We have already found the new Quons in our fleet to be fuel-efficient trucks. I’m delighted to see the improvements that can be made to increase that saving even further. Not to mention considered driving improves road safety for all users,” said Bob Miller, owner B&D Crane Trucks.

The Extra Mile Challenge is run by UD Trucks International and supported by various countries including Australia, challenging drivers in the local qualifying rounds to continuously improve their performance.

While the live streamed virtual ceremony will be hosted in Japan, Gould will be celebrating his win with South Central Truck & Bus and UD Truck representatives in Adelaide on the 16 March 2021.

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