Andreas Söderström has become Sweden’s best young truck driver for the second time. Now, Söderström, who hails from the Småland region, is headed to the European final. Last time he was there, he won the top prize.
Andreas Söderström was crowned national champion when the Swedish final of the Young European Truck Driver competition was held at the Elmia Lastbil trade fair in Jönköping.
“It’s important to be able to take it easy and keep your nerves in check,” the 31-year-old said after his victory on August 22. “I’ve been driving trucks since I was 19, but I never drive trucks with trailers.”
Söderström comes from the town of Ingelstad outside Växjö. He was cheered onto victory by his whole family, including his partner Emma Axelsson and children Agnes 5, Elton 3 and Inez, 2.
In the final he went head to head with Joakim Furrer from the town of Strömsund. The final round was extremely exciting, even if Söderström, with his clever driving tactics, was never seriously challenged.
“It was tough at the beginning,” said Söderström. “I didn’t hear the announcer so I had no idea how things went for Joakim. It felt pretty bad when I knocked over one of the cones, but towards the end things went better.”
Söderström and his father run Söderströms Åkeri, operating two hook-lift trucks and one dumper truck.
When the YETD competition was held in 2010, Söderström won the European final. Now, he has the opportunity to repeat that success. The final will be held in April next year.
This year’s Swedish final was held at Elmia Lastbil, the main trade fair for the Nordic trucking industry. In addition to watching the competition, visitors witnessed the debut of the first Scania 450 hp Euro 6 engine to exclusively use SCR aftertreatment technology.
Also on show was the Chimera custom-built truck, created by the famed Swedish truck-customiser Svempas. This impressive creation was first unveiled in Switzerland earlier in the summer.