Truck drivers Lafas Kruger of RA Transport and Buza Ngcelwane of Dairy Farmers of South Africa are the 2017 winners of the UD Trucks Southern Africa Extra Mile Challenge Driver Competition.
This emerged yesterday (21 September), following a series of driving evaluations at the Gerotek Vehicle Testing facility in Pretoria West.
Kruger walked away with top honours in the Quester category, while Ngcelwane was named the best Quon driver. Both men are from the Eastern Cape. As overall winners, they will travel to Ageo in Japan in November, alongside their fleet managers, to represent South Africa in the global UD Extra Mile Challenge finals.
A total of 17 fleet drivers competed on the day in either a UD Quester or UD Quon truck-tractor. They were put through their paces in various challenges that measured efficiency and productivity via onboard telematics on the Quester and the onboard VCU on the Quon models.
Apart from the driving tests, the drivers had to perform some challenging handling and parking tests, where accuracy and efficiency were key to success. Drivers also had to complete a pre-drive inspection on the vehicles to ensure the roadworthiness and safety of the trucks.
Kruger and Ngcelwane will start their preparations to compete on a global stage, with the assistance of UD Trucks Southern Africa’s product and driving experts. Last year’s local winner, Alfred Ngilo went on to be named the most efficient driver at the international competition.
“The results of the Extra Mile Challenges have once again bolstered our belief in the level of driving skills available in South Africa. We wish Buza and Lafras every success with the global competition in November, we are with you every step of the way,” said Swanepoel.
The trip to Japan will see the two men compete against other winning drivers from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Omar, Qatar, Japan and Singapore.
Below: Check out what happened in the 2016 global finals: