MTD Trucks


Kiwi female truck driver makes history on world stage

Louise Marriott became the first female driver to be named as Asia Pacific’s most fuel-efficient driver at the Volvo Trucks Fuelwatch Challenge in Thailand last week.

MTD & Volvo Truck’s competition run bi-annually in New Zealand, is a recognised global event in the industry, embodies the company’s Fuelwatch mission towards a fuel-efficient industry model.

Louise, a driver for JPM Holdings in Christchurch, was one of four female entrants. The other three were from being from China, Thailand & Korea, expanding number of female drivers on a global scale. 17 drivers from 10 countries qualified to contest for the Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge title, with Louise winning the on-road title.

Also included in the mix was fellow Kiwi, Phil Thomas from Regal Haulage in Hamilton to take out a top prize in the New Zealand competition. Phil was placed third in Thailand. Which is a great result for New Zealand drivers.

During the two day event, participants attended a one-day training session on fuel-efficient driving techniques and technical expertise, followed by the Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge grand finals on the second day.To win the title of most fuel-efficient driver in the on-road category, Louise clocked 17.5% less fuel compared to the highest amount of fuel burnt at the event.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be this year’s most fuel-efficient driver and to be the first contestant to bring the trophy home to New Zealand,” says Louise. “While our industry is often thought of as male dominant, the Fuelwatch Challenge has been a great platform to show that all drivers, regardless of gender, can perform at the highest level.”

Volvo says that within the industry, fuel can account to up to 50 per cent of the operating costs of a typical haulage business. Based on the fuel-efficiency margins recorded in the on-road and off-road finals, this would inarguably translate into significant cost savings potential in a real-world context.

Christophe Martin, president of Volvo Trucks in Asia Oceania said he was delighted to witness the first female driver joining the ranks of past Fuelwatch winners. “Volvo Trucks are firmly committed to the Fuelwatch mission of optimising performance at minimum cost to businesses, society and the environment.”

In New Zealand, Volvo Trucks are distributed by Motor Truck Distributors (MTD). “Not only are we excited about the calibre of New Zealand’s truck drivers, we’re proud that Volvo are continuously developing ways to optimise fuel efficient driving and encourage safe driving behaviour,” says Volvo National Sales manager, Clive Jones. “We hope that Louise’s win encourages others to become drivers, where in New Zealand we are facing a significant shortage. We wish her all the best for the world finals in Sweden next year.”