Yesterday, on the 1st of October 2015, a total of 16 finalists from the bus and truck category competed in what Scania believes to be the toughest practical finals that they have organised to date in the Scania Driver Competitions. Eight truck and eight bus drivers duked it out against each other in their respective categories in the Scania Driver Competitions 2014/2015 Malaysia-Singapore and as in any competition, there can be only one winner (for each category of course).
Mr. Saiful Nizam Abd Aziz of Bank Simpanan Nasional was the champion in the bus category whilst Mr. Abdul Aziz Amir of Shaziman Transport Sdn Bhd was crowned champion in the truck category. Each champion took home RM10,000 in cash, a championship trophy and a certificate of achievement. The companies they represented were awarded a RM5,000 worth Scania service voucher.
In order to win, both Saiful Nizam (pictured above holding his trophy) and Abdul Aziz (pictured below) and the other finalists were shortlisted from a total of 1,005 participants during an initial theory submission stage with participants coming from both Malaysian and Singapore. The participation numbers were up by 50%. This meant that there are more commercial drivers aware of such competitions that ultimately equip them with experience, knowledge and a chance to test themselves with each other. In fact, there was a finalist in the bus category, Mr.Mohd Ridzuan Abdul Rahman who entered this competition on his own initiative (which includes time away from work and also money to attend the event). It shows the professionalism and dedication of the people who are actually the backbone of the regional road transport industry.
The Scania Driver Competitions 2014/2015 Malaysia-Singapore finals were held over two days over at the Sepang International Circuit, drivers at the finals had to go through the fuel economy driving test and the defensive driving test on the first day of the finals. The second and final day, they had to go through the 'Knock-the-cone-and-head precision test (where the drivers have to drive and actually touch the cone/head without making it topple over within a specific time) and the 'Boardwalk' obstacle test (reverse slalom through a few cones then reverse whilst ensuring the truck or bus' tyres hit three planks laid out behind the trucks which were staggered to one side one after the other squarely. It was tough, but these finalists are built of tougher material.
Now an event like this would not have been possible with good partnerships and sponsors. Tyre company Michelin Malaysia was the main sponsors and such a driver competition was a great way for Michelin to showcase the capabilities of their tyres in terms of the important stuff like safety, comfort, longevity and fuel economy.
Other official partners include Scania Credit, JKJR (Jabatan Keselamatan Jalan Raya Malaysia), MIROS (Malaysian Instutite of Road Safety) and the Embassy of Sweden (where H.E. Mr Bengt G Carlsson
Ambassador of Sweden graciously attended the prize giving ceremony).
Knock the Cone and Head challenge - That red post must not fall when the bus touches it