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The Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge 2012 has finished and the winning driver has been crowned.  And he is … well you’ll have to keep reading.

Tachoblog can tell you that the winner of the Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge 2012 is DHL – B&Q driver Edward Fowell.

090712vt Edward Fowell

On hearing the announcement that he had won the gruelling fuel economy focused final ~Edward told Tachoblog thay he is,  “Overwhelmed, it’s marvellous. I couldn’t believe it,” he said, adding modestly. “I knew I’d done good, but not that good!”

Now click below for more on Edward and the Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge 2012 …

Edward, who has been driving an LGV licence for nine years, drives a Volvo FH artic for DHL on the B&Q contract.

After being presented with the Volvo Trucks Driver Challenge 2012 trophy by Volvo Trucks Commercial Truck Director Ian Mitchell, he described the competition as ‘very tough’ and the route as “very difficult, with lots of hills and hairpin bends.”

Edward said that the secret to his success in taking the top spot from his fellow nine competitors in the final was down to forward planning, coasting and keeping the truck rolling. All of which were aided by the I-Shift gearbox which he described as ‘The Best’.

From its base at Volvo dealer Irish Commercial’s state of the art premises at Oranmore, near Galway, the Driver Challenge final itself was held over a tough 132 kilometre (82 mile) route around the West of Ireland Counties of Galway and Mayo.

In addition to heavy traffic on the Galway ring road dual carriageway, the route also took in rural roads around part of Connemara.

These included a vicious 1 in 4 (25%) gradient uphill double hairpin on the R345 between Cornamona and Clonbur, Co. Galway. The competitors also had to navigate their way through the Saturday traffic on the congested main street in Cong, Co. Mayo.

The 10 finalists represented companies ranging in size from independent hauliers like Bacton Transport, David Watson and CJ Carruthers, to supermarkets ASDA and Sainsbury’s and logistics operators such as DHL- B&Q and NFT.

The competitors in the final drove five identical Volvo FM11-450 6×2 tractor units coupled to a fleet of fully-freighted new trailers kindly loaned by Stobart Group.

The identical trailers were loaded to within a 0.05% of each other and a Volvo Trucks Driver Development trainer rode in each cab to ensure competitors followed the route.

The whole event was timed to coincide with the final in-port competition of the Volvo Ocean Race – the round-the-world yacht race – which was also underway in Galway the same weekend.