South African Lafras Kruger was named the best driver at the finals of UD Trucks’ Extra Mile Challenge fleet driver competition in Japan. Kruger took top honours in the UD Quester product category. The other South African participant, Buza Ngcelwane, received a reward for the Best Fuel Efficiency in the Quon product category.
“What a fantastic achievement by Lafras to clinch the top spot in this prestigious international competition,” said Gert Swanepoel, managing director of UD Trucks South Africa. “Both Lafras and Buza certainly did South Africa proud, and is testament to the level of skills we have in the local transport industry.”
What makes Kruger’s achievement even more special is the fact that he has only been a truck driver for 10 months! Hailing from Somerset East in the Eastern Cape province, Kruger works for RA Transport, a general freight transport company.
“I am simply overwhelmed by the fact that I have actually won the title,” said Kruger. “It took many hours of preparation and the competition truly was a tough battle. Thanks to the support from my company’s management and UD Trucks’ staff, I made it to the top and all the sacrifices were so worth it!”
Ngcelwane, a driver for Dairy Farmers SA in Port Elizabeth, achieved the best fuel efficiency through careful planning and his extensive knowledge of the operation, performance and handling of the Quon extra heavy truck.
“It was such an honour to participate in the competition and to do so in Japan, the home of UD Trucks, was simply the cherry on top,” said Ngcelwane. “We learned and experienced so much, and the memories and knowledge gained will certainly last us a lifetime!”
UD Trucks’ Extra Mile Challenge driver competition is aimed at improving driving skills and reducing both costs and downtime and is based on three key elements; pre-inspection, fuel efficiency and safety, and drivability.
During the competition, drivers participated in either the UD Quester or UD Quon product categories, and had to compete in a simulated transport delivery cycle.
“The Extra Mile Challenge is not just simply a driving competition, but it also provides a wonderful opportunity for drivers to test and hone their skills, refine their strengths and simply go the extra mile,” said Kishi Nobuhiko, UD Trucks’ senior vice president of brand and product.
Swanepoel said that through this competition, UD Trucks continues its aim to help enhance driver capability and reinforce confidence in their own abilities, but also in the trucks they drive every day.
“The Extra Mile Challenge also goes a long way in raising the standards within fleets, as well as creates awareness of the importance of safe and efficient driving,” concluded Swanepoel.