Since 2003 more than 300,000 truck drivers in nearly 50 countries have participated in Scania Driver Competitions – the world’s largest truck driving and training event.
Scania Driver Competitions 2014-2015 was the sixth edition of this truly international event, since it was established in 2003. The latest competition attracted more than 100,000 truck drivers in 40 countries.
The competition started as a response to a 2003 European Commission directive on driver training, which aimed to minimise the environmental impact of truck driving by increasing road-safety awareness and improving fuel consumption. The European Commission has endorsed the event ever since.
Scania consider the driver as the single most important asset for economy, environment and safety. Striving to deliver sustainable transport solutions this focus on drivers becomes even more important. Drivers are the most important factor in overcoming the number of challenges the transport industry is facing today regarding road safety, fuel efficiency and reducing the transport industry’s environmental footprint. Another goal for Scania Driver Competitions is to draw more people into a profession that has become all the more demanding and versatile.
All play a part
Erik Ljungberg, Senior Vice President Corporate Relations at Scania, says Scania firmly believes that skilled drivers are the single-most important asset for securing road safety, minimising the environmental impacts of road transport, and contributing to an efficient transport industry.
“Everyone in the transport industry can play a part,” he says. “Arranging extensive and demanding truck driver competitions across the world is one of Scania’s many contributions. Truck drivers, the transport industry and sponsors have all shown tremendous interest in the competition,” Ljungberg says.
Mikael Person, General Manager for Scania Driver Competitions, has followed the competition closely since its inception.
“We believe the competition has an impact,” he says. “The skill and awareness of drivers increases in markets where Scania arranges these competitions.”
His belief is backed up by the results of driver surveys conducted following the 2012 competitions. Participating drivers felt taking part in the competition had improved their skills.
“The competition has grown from 18,000 participants ten years ago to more than 100,000 this year, Person says.”
Not only has the number of participating drivers increased, but there has been heightened interest from sponsors in local markets, as well as organisations such as transport authorities and road safety organisations. For example, sponsors like tyre manufacturer Michelin, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) and transport buyers like Danone.
In addition to the challenges of driving, professional drivers encounter numerous incidental challenges every day. Scania Driver Competitions winners need to manage a lot more than just driving a truck from point A to point B. To reflect this, the competition has developed over the years to feature a number of health and emergency related challenges.