These drivers have made the cut by proving their driving skills. But now the really tough competition begins … Their vehicles have been fitted with Hollard telematics devices, and for 45 days they have to drive like true champions.
“We measure the competitors according to four principal criteria: speed, harsh braking, fatigue driving during the day, and fatigue driving at night,” says Highway Heroes campaign manager Elka du Piesanie, of Hollard Trucking.
“Each one has to prove that they can at all times keep to the speed limit, be responsible about taking frequent rest breaks, and not put themselves in emergency situations where they have to brake hard.
“That may sound simple enough, but it isn’t. Driving a large truck is a tough job as it is – and driving it to these standards is the work of a Highway Hero,” Du Piesanie continues.
The drivers are competing in four categories: tankers, tippers, tautliners and flat decks. Each category has four sub-categories: long haul, short haul, cross-border and route-specific.
The four category winners will be in line to win the overall title of Hollard Highway Hero – and the overall R100 000 prize – at a special function in mid-November, with the rest taking home a cool R25 000 each.
But, says Du Piesanie, the competition is particularly stiff this year, with more entrants than ever before and a larger finalist group than in the past.
“The top 50 drivers will have to have their wits about them, at all times, if they want a serious shot at the title of Highway Hero. And with 2015 Highway Hero Themba Vilakazi (making his fourth finalist appearance in five years), 2017 Highway Hero Phillip Mtembu and 2018 category winner Martin Langeveldt in the mix, the heat is on!”
What’s also great about the 2019 Highway Heroes competition is that, for the first time, it is open to all truck drivers and not just those of Hollard customers. And they’ve made their mark already.
“No fewer than 12 of the top 50 drivers work for trucking companies that are not Hollard clients,” says Du Piesanie. “What that says to us is that Hollard Highway Heroes has prestige in the trucking industry in general – and that all drivers are hungry to win it.”
She concludes by wishing all of the top 50 drivers the best in their endeavours to win Hollard Highway Heroes 2019.
“All of us at Hollard Trucking wish you the best – not luck, because this competition is all about skill. May you continue to drive like the highway heroes you already are, making our roads safer for every one of us and keeping our economy going!” she says.