Eight tonnes of competition material is touring around Europe with one objective – to provide support to the 26 countries taking part in the Young European Truck Driver (YETD) competition.
Since 2003, Scania has been holding international competitions that focus on the one factor that can increase traffic safety, reduce harmful emissions and increase fuel efficiency – truck drivers.
Each YETD truck semi-trailer combination carries a set of competition material that weighs eight tonnes and consists of everything needed for a successful YETD final. The fleet consists of two semi-trailers and four Scania R 450 trucks, of which one is a right-hand drive.
Competition coordinator Gunilla Manfredsson says it’s important that all competitors drive on the same courses. “This allows us to ensure the European finals are fair and uniform,” she says. “When the winner of the last 2014 YETD national final in Austria takes their place on the winners’ podium, they’ll be standing in the same spot the Romanian winner stood nearly a year earlier.”
Each trailer is loaded with, among other things, 25 flags, more than 200 sandbags, lots of high and low walls, cones and markers and, of course, a winners’ podium.
Over the course of a few hectic months, Scania’s YETD team travels between competitions to provide the national finals with materials and knowledge.
There’s lots to take into account when an event of this size is being undertaken. Once the individual countries have decided on the dates of the finals, a driving schedule is created for the YETD truck trailers, which are each manned by a team of two to four people.
Supporting local organisers
A driver drives to the competition venue in the country where the event is being staged and the rest of the team finishes the job by building the competition course and supporting the local competition organisers. In total, about 12 people are involved in the YETD tour over its course of nearly 12 months.
Driver and course builder Mikael Jederud’s first job was the Romanian YETD final. After this, he’ll work on finals including those in Portugal and Spain. Over the summer, he’ll be on the road for almost a month.
Contacts across Europe
“You need to be flexible and responsive to the local organisers’ conditions and be able to carry out the job, no matter what happens,” he says. “The best thing about the job is meeting so many nice people and building contacts across Europe.”
The competition courses are built to precise dimensions and follow a given standard.
”We carefully measure and have jigs that ensure that the competition material ends up in exactly the right place,” Jederud says. “Despite our careful planning, each course has a unique template and measurements. So, we carefully text drive every track before the competition starts.”
The competition is continuing, with the grand final taking place in Sweden in April 2015.