Singapore Drivers Win at the Inaugural Scania Driver Competition Southeast Asia 2016-2017
SINGAPORE – Two heavy commercial vehicle drivers from Singapore pushed their professional driving skills to the limit to clinch runner-up prizes at the inaugural Scania Driver Competition Southeast Asia 2016 – 2017. They challenged other drivers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore at the finals of the competition held in Kuala Lumpur today.
An elated Mr Wong Yih Chien from Transworld International, Singapore, came in first runner-up in the Truck Category of the competition, winning 10,000 Swedish Kronas. He was edged out by Mr Sarveswaren Srues a/l Ram of Air Products from Malaysia who took the championship for the category.
“In my 19 years of driving, I have never done anything as difficult as participating in the Scania Driver Competition at a regional level,” said Mr Wong. “I did not expect to be placed as the competition was tough, but I believe that this experience has made me a better and more confident driver.”
In the Bus Category, Mr Rahman Khan bin Abdul Karim from Singapore Ducktours took the second runner-up prize, worth 6,000 Swedish Kronas. The champion for the category was Mr Law Cheok Gheen of Aeroline from Malaysia.
Describing his experience, Mr Rahman said: “I am surprised and happy to win for Team Singapore. It has been very challenging. Although we may drive in very tight spaces in Singapore, such as on Sentosa Island, it is different to see a circuit marked out in cones and obstacles. I managed to improve my skill and judgement, like learning how to make better use of the mirrors.”
The inaugural Southeast Asia edition of the global Scania Driver Competitions, which will be organised every two years, replaces the local country editions previously held. By holding it at a regional level, the competition seeks to provide more demanding challenges for participating drivers to pit their skills against drivers from across the region.
The final driving skills round of the competition today saw 19 drivers from the five countries competing for the top three placings of the truck and bus categories. Their abilities were tested through a series of timed manoeuvring tasks in the ‘Knock the Cone’ precision test and the ‘Boardwalk’ obstacle test. These tasks tested their skills in knocking down specified cones while keeping others standing, forward and reverse driving with one side of the vehicle’s wheels on a plank, reverse slalom driving without touching a set of cones, among others.
The truck drivers were tested using a Scania G410LA6x2MSZ attached to a trailer carrying a 40ft container, while the bus drivers were tested in the Scania Marcopolo K410IB4x2 complete coach.
The 19 finalists in both categories were drawn from more than 1,000 drivers from the region, including almost 100 from Singapore, who enrolled for the competition from as early as 2016. They underwent elimination rounds that tested their knowledge of road transport laws and regulations, alternative fuels, fuel-efficient and safe driving, load securing, occupational risks and health, and emergency procedures.
Another two drivers from Team Singapore who made it to the finals were Mr Soon Kwai Sun from Hoysan Transport in the Truck Category, and Mr Pushpanathan a/l Muniandi of KKKL Travel & Tours in the Bus Category. Both drivers appreciated the experience to compete and the camaraderie of the other drivers who collectively shared ideas on how to complete the tasks effectively.
“We are very proud of the achievements of Team Singapore in this first-ever Scania Driver Competition organised at a Southeast Asian level,” said Mr Mark Cameron, Regional Director of Scania South Malaysia and Singapore, and Country Manager of Scania Singapore. “Our four drivers worked well together and utilised all their skills and knowledge to do their best for their country.”
He added: “The increasing interest in the competition is encouraging as driver competency is even more important today in overcoming the many challenges the transport industry is facing. Good driving practices help to improve safety on the road and reduce fuel consumption, which results in better air quality for Singaporeans, lower environmental impact for the planet and enhanced operating economy for transport operators.”
The competition was organised by Scania Southeast Asia, sponsored by Michelin (M) Sdn Bhd, and supported by Jabatan Keselamatan Jalan Raya, Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan Malaysia and the Embassy of Sweden in Malaysia.
Globally, the Scania Driver Competitions aim to elevate the status and prestige of heavy commercial vehicle drivers by recognising them as true unsung heroes. Since 2003, more than 350,000 truck drivers in nearly 50 countries have participated in Scania Driver Competitions that focus on increasing road-safety awareness, improving fuel consumption and minimising the environmental impact of commercial vehicles.
Mr Mark Cameron, Regional Director of Scania South Malaysia and Singapore, and Country Manager of Scania Singapore (centre), congratulates and thanks Team Singapore comprising (from left) Soon Kwai Sun from Hoysan Transport, Wong Yih Chien from Transworld International, Rahman Khan bin Abdul Karim from Singapore Ducktours and Pushpanathan a/l Muniandi from KKKL Travel & Tours.
‘Boardwalk’ obstacle test’ – Scania Driver Competition Southeast Asia 2016 – 2017
'Knock the Cone’ precision test – Scania Driver Competition Southeast Asia 2016 – 2017
Team Singapore’s participants at the start of the Scania Driver Competition Southeast Asia 2016 - 2017. From left: Wong Yih Chien from Transworld International, Rahman Khan bin Abdul Karim from Singapore Ducktours, Pushpanathan a/l Muniandi from KKKL Travel & Tours and Soon Kwai Sun from Hoysan Transport.