The Ultimate Truck Driver discovered at UD TRUCKS Extra Mile Challenge 2020

The Japanese truck brand UD Trucks’ signature annual competition, The Extra Mile Challenge 2020, was organized by Jaidah Group (the Qatar dealer of UD TRUCKS). It reproduces an actual truck operation cycle, assessing drivers in the three key areas of pre-driving inspection, fuel efficiency and safe driving including maneuvering and parking. The UD Extra Mile Challenge is a quest to find the ultimate driver, measuring effectiveness in operational cost and reduced downtime in addition to safe and skilled driving.

Dallah Driving Academy partnered with Jaidah Group in hosting the event, with the aim of promoting good driving habits. It has a large fleet of UD Trucks for its trucks and trailer driving courses.

50 drivers from different companies invited by Jaidah Group competed for the coveted prize of a trip to UD TRUCKS’ factory in Ageo, Japan where the Global Final of the contest will be held in April 2020. The winner of the ‘Ultimate Driver’ title in Qatar was Sameer Shah from Power Waste Management & Transport Co., followed by Joseph Nishantha and Rajesh Tumbad from Galfar Al Misnad in second and third place respectively.

The competition started with a task called ‘Diminishing Line’ in which the drivers had to reverse a 6X4 UD truck in a straight line between pairs of cones that diminished by 20cm every 3m and park on a target spot. The second round was called ‘Forward Side Move.’ Drivers had to Drive forward and move sideways one vehicle width to line up for a straight forwarding and parking on target followed by straight reversing and parking on a target. The Learning points for drivers from this task was vehicle size and maneuverability judgement. The third, final and the toughest round was ‘Slalom.’ Truck was to be reversed between six traffic cones alternating between left and right side of the cones in a zigzagging pattern. The purpose of this discipline was to make the drivers aware of the trucks turning characteristics and around which point the truck actually turned.

Ajin Ashraf (Trucks Sales Manager Jaidah Group) said, “The transportation industry is facing severe challenges from cost pressure, tough demands on delivery, stricter regulations and shortage of skilled drivers. Good drivers respect their truck and cargo, save on operational costs, and make the roads safer every single day. This is our initiative to help our customers’ drivers in becoming good at their work.”

“We have created a platform where our customers’ drivers receive the recognition they deserve. Some expert training and friendly competition is a great way to improve their skills and motivation. A good driver translates into profitability for the business. It is one of many initiatives that Jaidah Group takes in creating practicable profitability for its customers,” said Altug Okay (Managing Director – Equipment, Projects & Industrial Supply, Jaidah Group).

Dalla Driving Academy provides professional driving course experience offering training programs for drivers of all ages and experience levels. Hassan Nassar, academy manager said, “As one of the largest driving training schools in Qatar, we provide driving training services that comply with the highest international standards & best practices.”

Jaidah Group and UD Trucks have a long standing dealership relation in Qatar. ‘Together they strive to create smart logistics, ensuring that transport logistics are efficient and profitable, sustainable and safe, and coexist in harmony with the environment and society,’ according to a statement from Jaidah Group management.

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