- 300 participants from across the globe took part in qualifying rounds in nine countries
- Nine finalists completed the ultimate challenge at UD Trucks Headquarters in Ageo, Japan
- Truck driver representing the MEENA region, Dipendra Balami from Promar Marine Contracting, named for ‘Best Driving Skill’ in the Quester category
Dubai, UAE, November 29, 2018: UD Trucks hosted the final of its ‘Extra Mile Challenge 2018’ last month at the UD Experience Center in its corporate headquarters in Ageo, Japan. Out of 300 truck drivers from across the globe just nine participants made it through local qualifying rounds to the prestigious final.
Amongst the finalists, Dipendra Balami, representing the MEENA region from Qatar was named for ‘Best Driving Skills’ in the final Quester driving challenge. Other finalists included drivers from Japan, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
The Extra Mile Challenge is an annual competition which is part of UD Trucks’ vision for smart logistics providing solutions to the needs of society. The contest seeks to find the world’s ultimate truck driver by simulating the actual truck operation cycle and assessing drivers in the three key areas - pre-driving inspection, fuel efficiency and safe driving, in addition to maneuvering and parking.
Contestants compete in UD Trucks’ Quester heavy-duty truck, and are measured on effectiveness in operational cost, ability to reduce downtime, and safe and skilled driving.
Dipendra Balami, representing the MEENA region from Qatar said, “Visiting the home of UD Trucks in Japan was a huge honor. The Extra Mile Challenge was a great opportunity to showcase the skills I have learnt and use every day in my job and I am very proud to hold the title of ‘Best Driving Skills’ amongst the other talented truck drivers in the final.”
Mourad Hedna, President of UD Trucks MEENA, said, “The 2018 Extra Mile Challenge was a very special event for us - it was the first time a driver from our region competed in the world final. I’d like to congratulate our customer, Promar Marine and its driver, Dipendra Balami for their fantastic achievement. The award for ‘Best Driving Skills’ is not an easy category to win; it requires strong knowledge of the Quester truck and expert maneuverability skills, which Mr Balami displayed perfectly. We’ll be sure to come back in 2019 ready to challenge the world’s truck drivers to the championship”
UD Trucks marked one of its best performing years in the Middle East last year with significant sales growth across the entire region, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. With its recently expanded range, UD Trucks now offers a wide range of products across both medium and heavy-duty segments.
In 2016 the heavy-duty Quester truck was launched in the Middle East, followed in May 2017 by the medium-duty Croner truck. The introduction of these robust new products, as well as the addition of the new heavy-duty Quester 40 Tonne and the 8X4 Rigid, now makes UD Trucks Middle East offering complete.
Supporting the new trucks sales, UD Trucks’ regional offices in Dubai includes a parts distribution centre which delivers over 12,000 different spare parts to UD Trucks partners across the GCC. Thanks to its strategic location in the UAE, UD Trucks importers enjoy short lead times, as well as lower transport and inventory costs to better serve customers in the region.
UD Trucks believes that people depend on logistics, and logistics depends on people. Designed with the driver in mind, the Extra Mile Challenge demonstrates the company’s commitment to driver education and motivation, while shining the light on the unsung heroes of smart logistics – the truck drivers.