Thousands of truck drivers from around the world have once again been invited to participate in Scania Driver Competitions – the world’s largest truck driving and training event.
Rescue and fire, Young European Truck Driver final 2012.
Scania Driver Competitions 2014 marks the sixth time this international event has been held since it was established in 2003. The 2014 event aims to attract more than 85,000 truck drivers from 40 countries.
The competition started as a response to a 2003 European Commission directive on driver training which aimed to minimise the environmental impact of truck driving by increasing road-safety awareness and improving fuel consumption. The European Commission has endorsed the event ever since.
Erik Ljungberg, Senior Vice President Corporate Relations at Scania, says Scania firmly believes that skilled drivers are the single-most important asset for securing road safety, minimising the environmental impacts of road transport, and contributing to an efficient transport industry.
“Everyone in the transport industry can play a part,” he says. “Arranging extensive and demanding truck driver competitions across the world is one of Scania’s many contributions.”
“Truck drivers, the transport industry and sponsors have all shown tremendous interest in the competition,” Ljungberg says. “More than 500 drivers have pre-registered for the event in Germany alone.”
Mikael Person, General Manager for Scania Driver Competitions, has followed the competition closely since its inception.
“We believe the competition has an impact,” he says. “The skill and awareness of drivers increases in markets where Scania arranges these competitions.”
His belief is backed up by the results of driver surveys conducted following the 2012 competitions. Participating drivers felt taking part in the competition had improved their skills.
“The competition has grown from 18,000 participants ten years ago to more than 85,000 this year,” Person says.
Not only has the number of participating drivers increased, but there has been heightened interest from sponsors in local markets, as well as organisations such as transport authorities and road safety organisations. For example, sponsors in Europe include the tyre manufacturer Michelin, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the trailer company Schmitz Cargobull.
In addition to the challenges of driving, professional drivers encounter numerous incidental challenges every day. Scania Driver Competitions winners need to manage a lot more than just driving a truck from point A to point B. To reflect this, this year’s event will feature a number of surprises to keep the drivers on their toes.
“This year we’re challenging drivers to show they can handle surprises and keep their calm in difficult and stressful situations,” Person says.