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Optifuel Challenge: driving good practices

In October 2012, the finals of the first Optifuel Challenge - a European competition in economic driving organised by Renault Trucks - were held in Spain, bringing together 33 drivers from 16 countries. A few months later, the precepts and good practices publicised during this challenge have clearly made their point and convinced customers, as 26 Premium Optifuel vehicles have been ordered since the challenge finals.

In October 2012, the finals of the Optifuel Challenge, a competition in economic driving organised by Renault Trucks, was an opportunity to reward the best drivers from all parts of Europe. After the competition, the good practices demonstrated by some of them benefited a wider audience and the companies’ taking part, highly impressed with what they had seen, placed orders with Renault Trucks for 26 Premium Optifuel vehicles.

"The drivers are motivated - all want to be chosen to take part in the next Optifuel Challenge," says Bruno Bernardin, director of TVE Logistics based in the Allier département (France), with a smile. In his view, the Optifuel Challenge has been a way of generating emulation within the company. "So we have decided to train a second driving instructor via the Renault Trucks Optifuel Programme and enter the Optifuel Challenge France again in 2013," he explains. After taking part in the competition, he also decided to test Optifleet, the on-board real-time IT fleet management solution developed by Renault Trucks. “I think that by correctly using the information supplied by Optifleet in my company, particularly the real time geolocation and individual driver consumption data, I’ll be able to further help my drivers improve their driving and reduce our fleet’s consumption,” explains Bruno Bernardin.

In the opinion of Trans Logroño, the Spanish company that won the first edition of the Optifuel Challenge, taking part in this kind of event gives a drive to reduce fuel consumption added impetus and also boosts team spirit within the company, as Santiago Gutiérrez, the company manager, explains: "Even if our only representative during the Optifuel Challenge final was José Miguel Velilla, all the company's drivers were involved in this challenge and it shows all of them the importance Trans Logroño places on saving fuel."

Trans Logroño demonstrates a "fuel eco" attitude in its whole approach to transport and clearly intends to pursue this objective. "Saving fuel is a company goal that has been an integral part of the way we do business for a long time. In fact, we've been using the Optifuel Infomax software for over 15 years," explains Santiago Gutiérrez. A staff motivation campaign has also been implemented, which includes regularly displaying drivers' consumption data as well as providing ongoing instruction in economic driving. Following the Optifuel Challenge 2012, Trans Logroño also purchased 10 Renault Premium Optifuel vehicles from the Renault Trucks dealer in Saragossa (Spain).

After having driven the 430 hp Renault Premium Optifuel, some customers finally decided they didn't want to live without it. As a result, one of the Premium Optifuel vehicles used during the competition left Spain for Finland. Market Jaakko Pohjola Oy, the company that now owns it, located in Pälkäne (Finland), even wanted to keep the Optifuel Challenge livery on its new vehicle.

As for Finnish hauliers Ahola Transport, whose driver Paul Storhannus was the runner-up in the competition, it was so impressed by the Premium's consumption performance that it decided to purchase 15 of them in 2012.

Following the success of the European Optifuel Challenge in 2012, Renault Trucks is organising a French competition open to all companies that have benefited from Optifuel Programme instruction since 2007. The competition final will take place on 22 April 2013 at Nogaro in the Gers département. A European edition of the Optifuel Challenge will take place in 2014.

Further information about the Optifuel Challenge France 2013 is available online:
http://optifuelchallenge.renault-trucks.fr

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