Keep on trucking
Volvo Trucks India Fuelwatch competition is to sensitise customers in terms of fuel efficiency and driver productivity.
BY TEAM CW
Save fuel. Save money. Every drop counts. That’s been the entire pitch for the Volvo Fuelwatch Challenge every year. Now in its 6th year, Volvo Fuelwatch provides a platform to equip drivers with excellent training in driving that helps them reduce fuel consumption and increase value to their employer. Initiated in 2010, Volvo Trucks India Fuelwatch was held in the coal mine of Managuru in Kothagudem, Andhra Pradesh, from June 7-9, 2015.
In Asia Pacific, the competition has grown since its inauguration in 2007 in South Korea. The competition serves as a valuable platform that provides an accessible and attractive way for drivers to pick up fuel-efficient driving skills which have a positive, far-reaching and long term impact on businesses’ bottom-line and the environment. The competition is held in real-life mining conditions in a safe and efficient way.
This year, 39 Volvo truck customers were eligible for participation and a total of 210 drivers participated from 19 mining sites in regional round. About 15 drivers across the country were selected through regional rounds and were put through a 5km long track at four different times, which is a total of 20kms. The drivers were first asked to drive the Volvo FMX trucks with the iShift AMT and then the manual tippers with no load and then the same trucks on the same track with full and equal load. The total average of all four runs would then be the final score of the driver.
At the end of each run, a team from Volvo Trucks downloads the data using Dynafleet Online trip manager. While the officials keep a keen eye out on the technique utilised by the drivers, they also take it into consideration the safety factors utilised by the driver and the attitude. In the rare occasion of a tie, the time taken by the respective drivers will be considered and the driver who has taken the least amount of time to achieve the goal will be crowned champion.
As it emerged, despite ambient conditions and training being identical, drivers came up with vastly divergent fuel-efficiency figures. If simple averages of fuel economy figures for laden and unladen trucks across all four trips are to be compared, the difference between the fuel-economy performance of the best driver vis-a-vis the worst is quite large. The contest was primarily based on four key parameters – fuel consumption, usage of engine and transmissions while driving, the time taken to complete and the attitude of the driver in following the rules of the competition.
The winner of the India Fuel Watch competition this year is P Ravi of SV Engineering Construction who was declared the most fuel efficient driver. As P Ravi, from SV Engineering goes on to compete in the Asia round of the Fuel Watch competition, Kameshwar Rao from Mahalakshmi Infracontracts finished 2nd and D Ganapathi of Sushee Infra claimed the 3rd spot.
Drivers play a crucial role in the overall profitability from the trucks. Volvo Trucks is focused on improving fuel-efficiency and thereby increasing customers’ profitability, while encouraging safe driving practices and environmental care through reduction in emissions. The Volvo Driver Training Centre, which has so far trained over 50,000 drivers is definitely a major asset for Volvo’s efforts to boost the productivity of drivers.