18 skilled drivers left

18 skilled drivers left

After the first events at the YETD final here in Södertälje, Sweden, the number of contestants has been narrowed down. 18 skilled truck drivers remain in the competition – all trying to secure a brand new Scania truck and a place in the Scania Driver Competitions’ Hall of Fame.

Patrick Schildmann, Germany

Patrick Schildmann, Germany

Chris Brooker Carey United Kingdom

Chris Brooker Carey, United Kingdom

Patrick Schildmann, 32, from Germany has plenty of experience both in driving various types of trucks for 14 years, transporting different cargo and has participated in YETD five times since 2005. He regards the challenges to be equivalent to the tasks he conducts in his daily work, like reversing in narrow streets, efficient and forward-looking driving. Schildmann considers the reverse and maneuvering challenges to belong to his fortes. Chris Brooker-Carey, 35, from the UK has been driving trucks for 14 years and started as a driver’s mate. He joined the family transport business in 2006. Brooker-Carey considers his strongest discipline to be theory. He has shown a determined approach to the competition, studying old YETD final videos to pick up tips. Should he claim first prize, the truck will be put to use in the family business.

Edy de Rocco Italy

Edy de Rocco, Italy

Stephen Lacombe France

Stephen Lacombe, France

Edy De Rocco, 35, from Italy has been driving trucks for 14 years, primarily with truck and trailer combinations, and he has participated in three national finals. His forte is the Reverse Z challenge, something that is also a strength in his working life. His weakest discipline is probably cargo securing. De Rocco wants to improve on his 2012 performance in the final. Stéphen Lacombe, 33, from France is a veteran YETD participant, having competed in several previous competitions. He has driven trucks since he was 19 and has always worked with truck and trailer combinations. He considers manoeuvring and eco-driving to be his two fortes. Lacombe is always working to improve his skills, especially when it comes to eco-driving. He nominates regulations, traffic laws, and first aid as his weakest disciplines.

Andreas Soderstrom Sweden

Andreas Söderström, Sweden

Robert Baker Ireland

Robert Baker, Ireland

Andreas Söderström, 31, from Sweden won the European final of YETD in 2010. He has 12 years’ truck driving experience and has run a transport business with his father since 2008. He’s unsure what his strongest discipline is and, due to the fact that he only rarely drives a truck and trailer combination, the competition will be a challenge. His weakest skill is eco-driving. Robert Baker, 32, from Ireland has driven trucks for 14 years and got his start in the industry through his family’s business. He is the current Irish national champion. Baker displays extreme precision in his manoeuvring, as he practises this discipline regularly in his daily job. However, his weak spot is load securing. Baker’s goals are to win a new truck and enjoy the finals experience.

Thomas Knusel Switzerland

Thomas Knusel, Switzerland

Erling Rolstad Norway

Erling Rolstad, Norway

When doing his military service, Thomas Knüsel, 28, from Switzerland discovered he was got at handling heavy vehicles and since then, he has gained 10 years of truck driving experience. His strong discipline is driving in general as he also drives on his free time to become an even better driver. He also manages some administrative work as a booker, something that has given him an understanding of the industry itself. He considers cargo securing to belong to his weaker disciplines but, as he was part of the national final in 2012 YETD, he is not to be forgotten. Erling Rolstad, 26, from Norway began driving trucks when he was 19, working primarily with truck and trailer combinations. This is his first time participating in the European finals, but with his experience in manoeuvring and his skill with driving heavy machines, he is up to the task. Rolstad’s weak spot is fuel-efficient driving, and he is looking very much forward to taking part in the competition.

Vassilis Tabouratzis Greece

Vassilis Tabouratzis, Greece

Lars Sondergaard Denmark

Lars Sondergaard, Denmark

Vassilis Tabouratzis, 35, from Greece began driving trucks when he was 19, and works primarily with truck and trailer combinations. He has participated in two national finals in 2012 and 2014, and his strongest competition challenge is the Combo. He considers the cargo securing challenge to be his weakest discipline. Tabouratzis is looking forward to the contest and says he will do his best to claim first place. Lars Sondergaard Søndergård,32, from Denmark is a skilled driver with 14 years’ experience behind the wheel of trucks, particularly truck and trailer combinations. His strongest skill sets are manoeuvring and cargo securing. As well as winning the most recent Danish national final, Sondergaard placed second in 2012. He believes his weakest discipline is first aid. He is looking forward to the finals and emphasises that he will not be participating as a spectator this time, but as a competitor.

Denis Terendiy Ukraine

Denis Terendiy, Ukraine

Bartosz Zapart Poland

Bartosz Zapart, Poland

Denis Terendiy, 27, from Ukraine has had a passion for vehicles since his early childhood. He considers his strongest competition challenges to be the Reverse Z and Knock the King, and in his daily life he enjoys the manoeuvring aspect of his job. Terendiy has a positive approach to participating in the competition. He considers his day-to-day task as equally – if not more – challenging as those in the competition. Since he began driving trucks at the age of 19, Bartosz Zapart, 24, from Poland has experienced a wide range of different transport segments. He believes his strongest disciplines in the competition are cargo securing, first aid, and manoeuvring, with the latter also his forte in his daily work. Zapart’s weak spot is fuel-efficient driving. However, he says he has a lot to look forward to including the fun of competition and competing with the best drivers from Europe.

Michal Kyral Czech Republic

Michal Kyral, Czech Republic

Joel Valente Portugal

Joel Valente, Portugal

Michal Kyral, 32, from the Czech Republic began driving trucks when he was 21 and he today drives tank trucks containing chemicals. He considers manoeuvring to be his strongest skill, both in the competition and in his everyday job. However, cargo securing is one of his weak spots. He hopes to emerge from the final with the best result ever for someone from the Czech Republic. Joel Valente, 28, from Portugal usually drives a Scania R 420 truck and trailer combinations and has done so for the last seven years. He previously participated in YETD in 2012. Valente’s strongest discipline is competition is manoeuvring. While working he focuses on caring for the truck, minimising waste, and reducing tyre and fuel consumption. He has a positive attitude and believes that you always can improve and learn new things.

Stefan Buchele Austria

Stefan Buchele, Austria

Saša Hlišć Croatia

Saša Hlišć, Croatia

Stefan Büchele, 21, from Austria has been driving trucks for 3 years, and most of the time that means delivering refuse collectors. It’s the first time he participates in the YETD competition, and because he is often driving on narrow streets, he believes that his strongest challenge is the Turnover. The Z and Combo challenge are, on the other hand, probably the most challenging disciplines for Stefan. Saša Hlišć, 34, from Croatia has worked primarily with driving truck and trailer combinations since he was 19. His strongest competition disciplines are defensive driving and cargo securing. He has honed these skills to a high degree in his daily work where he often transports high-value cargo. Hlišć is clearly looking forward to the competition, particularly the opportunity to learn new skills and to meet new people. He believes his weak spot is the fire and rescue challenge.

Ionut Tolescu Romania

Ionut Tolescu, Romania

Sergey Titkin Russia

Sergey Titkin, Russia

Ionut Tolescu, 31, from Romania has driven a variety of trucks over the past 12 years. This year is his first participating in YETD and Tolescu’s forte in the competition is the Reverse Z. He honed his manoeuvring skills while working in Milan, where there are numerous narrow streets. His weakest skill is check-before-driving. Tolescu says he will do his very best to win first prize. Sergey Titkin, 34, from Russia has been driving trucks, primarily within the road-construction industry, since he was 19. However, this is the first time that he has participated in YETD. His daily life sees him covering long distances in Russia, and he believes this has made his strongest skill cargo securing. He says Knock the King is his major weak spot, and he views improving in this area is of benefit to his abilities as a professional driver.