After a series of regional competitions, Volvo Trucks concluded its India chapter of the Fuelwatch Challenge with Appana Babu from Hyderabad emerging as the winner. 29 finalists from 29 different customers competed recently in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh. The final round of competition spanned over 3 days where finalists were judged based on their driving skills and fuel efficiency.
For the 8th consecutive year, Volvo Trucks, a global leader in sustainable transport solutions, conducted the Fuelwatch Challenge India Finals recently. The competition is recognised as an annual mainstay event in the industry and embodies the company’s Fuelwatch mission towards a fuel-efficient industry model. After a series of national competitions across the region, 29 top contenders met for a decisive driving in Singrauli.
The Fuelwatch Challenge India went on to emphasize that fuel-efficient driving takes a lot more than being able to drive from A to B. The driver has a big impact on the vehicle’s fuel economy, and to get the most out of the truck with the least possible fuel consumption, the driver needs to plan the journey and think ahead. The whole route has to be strategized and he needs to know when to speed up, when to slow down and when to use the truck’s momentum and keep rolling.
With an impressive finish, Mr. Appana Babu, of BGR Mining and Infra Pvt ltd was awarded the 2017 Fuelwatch Championship. He will go on to represent India in the finals held in Sweden. Trailing behind with a marginal difference was Mr. Rajkaran Kushwaha, from Baghel Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd, Singrauli Madhya Pradesh, the 1st Runner Up and Mr. Bablu Ghatwal from Coal Mines Associated Traders Pvt. Ltd as the 2nd Runner-up. At a ceremony in New Delhi scheduled on 23rd June, the Fuelwatch Challenge winners will be felicitated and lauded for their award-winning skills.
A jubilant Mr. Appana Babu says, “This is a dream come true for me. I have been visualising this competition in my head for over a year now and I performed exactly as I had thought to do. Winning this is not only about driving, but also based on the understanding of the terrain, the vehicle and how to move in harmony.”
The results of the Fuelwatch Challenge showcases real-world cost benefits for companies and industries, while positively impacting the environment and society-at-large.
“I would like to congratulate the winners and participants without whom our mission to further sustainable growth in the country would not be possible. The competition also helps us at Volvo Trucks to relook at technology and improve upon it. This year we saw increased participation from over 400 drivers of 29 customers. The fuel-efficiency margins clocked by the winners have achieved new targets for possible savings in a real-world context, which is testimony of the fact that driver training is pivotal for ensuring increased fuel efficiency”, commented Mr. B Dinakar, Vice President Sales & Marketing Volvo Trucks.
Mr. Dinakar further added, “We at Volvo Trucks believe that the role of drivers is integral to achieving optimal fuel efficiency. In fact, with regular driver engagement through our driver training programs, we have observed that the best drivers can achieve up to 30% better fuel efficiency compared to average drivers. Till date we have trained over 55,000 truck drivers nationwide and together we are spearheading the Fuelwatch mission in the industry. With our globally accredited training programs, Indian truck drivers are proving to be top contenders and are making their mark in the global Fuelwatch Challenge.”
Since its inaugural event in 2010, more than 20,000 participants have become ambassadors of the Fuelwatch community, sharing skills and technical knowledge picked up at the event to promote a more fuel-efficient industry. For drivers to go further, it takes more than driving.