Romanian Ionut Tulescu has become the first national champion appointed in the Young European Truck Driver 2014 competition. His victory followed a series of tough challenges focused on safety, fuel efficiency and driving skill.
Ionut Tulescu credits his ability to remain focused and ignore distractions for his victory in the Romanian final of the Young European Truck Driver (YETD) 2014 competition.
After triumphing over 11 rivals in the finals of the competition, held in in the Jucu area of the city of Cluj Napoca in northern Romania, Tulescu said he worked hard to clear his mind, despite the pressure. “I didn’t think during the competition,” he said. “I just did my thing without noticing the audience or my competitors. That was my strategy.”
Tulescu’s victory followed intense competition, during which participants were tested on skills including fuel-efficient driving, defensive driving, safety, first aid and manoeuvring.
Careful driving rewarded
Mihai Pasol, Marketing and PR Manager at Scania Romania, says special consideration was given to drivers who demonstrated the ability to drive carefully and save fuel. “As fuel-efficient driving and defensive driving are the keys to a healthy and sustainable heavy truck industry, these exercises had the highest impact on the scores for the drivers,” he says.
Given that drivers spend many hours on the road and tend to be first on site when accidents occur, health and safety is also an important part of YETD. As part of the competition in Cluj, Scania Romania partnered with the local branch of the Romanian Red Cross.
An accident scene was arranged with volunteers playing the roles of injured people. It was a realistic scenario in which competitors had to show their skills in evaluating the severity of the injuries, prioritising who to treat first, and applying first aid to several persons at the same time.
“We chose to run a first aid exercise in order to highlight the everyday challenges of truck drivers,” Pasol explains. “Unfortunately these include incidents and accidents.”
So, how does Ionut Tulescu feel about being the best driver in Romania?
“It’s beyond words,” he says. “My manoeuvring skills were achieved when I worked in Milan, Italy, driving a distribution truck from warehouse to warehouse. I had to manoeuvre in places that were almost impossible to reach, but I managed to do it anyway.”
Tulescu says first aid isn’t just important for truck drivers.
“It’s important for all of us,” he says. “With the right skills, everyone can help saving lives when an accident occurs. This was actually the best part of the competition and something I will bring with me as a new experience in my daily life.”
Tulescu now has the chance to take part in the European finals and compete for first prize – a truck worth 100,000 euro.