The South Central Truck & Bus team were extremely proud to learn that Steve Gould, of B&D Crane Trucks, was announced as the winner of UD Trucks Australian Extra Mile Challenge.

Thanks to his sharp skills behind the wheel, Steve took out top spot ahead of 11 other Australian drivers in the global competition and proved to be the driver with the highest percentage increase in performance over the 12 week competition.

The UD Trucks Extra Mile Challenge is a driver-skill based competition that tests drivers across several key areas, and aims to demonstrate how improvements in driver behaviour can translate to safer driving, improved fuel consumption and reduced wear and tear on vehicles.

The Australian competition ran over the course of two months and 12 drivers from three UD Trucks dealerships, including South Central Truck & Bus, participated across Australia.

Drivers were monitored throughout the course of the competition via the truck’s telematics system. The winner was determined by the highest positive percentage change in driver score across the competition. The UD Telematics system measures drivers against anticipation and braking, engine and gear utilisation, speed adaptation and standstill to produce an overall ‘Driver’s score.’

To qualify for victory, the driver must complete a minimum of 180 hours or 15 hours a week of driving time.

Steve managed a 230% increase on his original starting position, and finished the 12 weeks with the highest average driver’s score of 89 out of 100, demonstrating his learnings in efficient driving practices and maintaining them consistently.

During the competition, Steve had regular check-ins with his Fuel Watch Manager, Chris Moar, South Central Truck & Bus Aftersales Planning Manager.

"Steve and I had several conversations where I was able to use the data I had from the truck’s telematics system to provide updates on his progress. We also talked about the best ways to improve in the various areas, so he could consistently improve his score and maintain safe and fuel efficient driving practices," said Chris.

It was also fantastic to learn that throughout the competition, Steve’s driver score wasn’t the only improvement seen by his boss, Bob Miller, owner of B&D Crane Trucks.

"We have already found the new UD Quons in our fleet to be fuel-efficient trucks. I’m delighted to see the improvements that can be made to increase that saving even further. Not to mention, considered driving improves road safety for all users," said Bob.

Previously, the winners would have travelled to UD Trucks’ headquarters in Ageo, Japan, to compete in the Extra Mile Challenge Global final. However, due to COVID-19, we were excited to be able to take part in a virtual ceremony at Coal Bar & Grill at the Hilton Hotel last month, which saw all winners from across the globe awarded.

Congratulations again Steve and thank you for working with the South Central Truck & Bus team!

The Extra Mile Challenge is run by UD Trucks International and supported by markets around the world, including Australia. It aims to challenge drivers in the local qualifying rounds to continuously improve their performance in four key areas: Anticipation and Braking, Engine and Gear Utilisation, Speed Adaptation, and Standstill.

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