The Hollard Highway Heroes competition recognises truck drivers for the important role they play in society, and rewards the best driver entrants with cash and prizes. The competition was initiated in 2015 and established to encourage better driving through training.
Wayne Rautenbach, head of Hollard Trucking, says: “This translates to better financial outcomes for employers, thanks to lower running and maintenance costs, fewer accidents and claims, as well as better premiums.
“Ultimately, we all enjoy safer roads because thousands of our country’s truck drivers – those who participated in the competition, as well as the colleagues they inspire – embrace better driving habits.”
This year there were 1 600 entries (twice the number received last year and seven times that of 2015), which proves the popularity of the concept among truck drivers. Qualifying drivers’ trucks were fitted with independent telematics technology to monitor driver behaviour for a period of 45 days.
Rautenbach says: “We believe that the competition is a catalyst for change and that the effect on driver behaviour will be seen long after the competition has ended.”
Paul Dangerfield, head of operations for Hollard Trucking, says: “To enhance the impact, we are in the process of creating a rewards-card programme for drivers who drive within the parameters set by the Hollard Highway Heroes.”
Stephen Meje, who drives for Pretoria-based Faith Wheels, was named the overall winner of the 2018 edition of Hollard Highway Heroes. At the awards ceremony, held on November 23, Meje was awarded the grand prize of R100 000.
Meje said that his victory would change his family’s life. “I’m overwhelmed and very happy… The prize means a lot to me. It will change my life – and my family’s life. I’ve never had such money,” said Meje.
While in previous years there has only been one winner, the format of this year’s competition changed in order to level the playing field and create more winners. Other than the overall winner, the three runners up received R25 000 in cash and prizes. The rest of the top 30 have received prizes ranging in value from R1 000 to R2 500.
Dangerfield concludes: “We have recognised only a few among thousands of Highway Heroes. We would like the public to help us recognise the people who transport virtually every commodity we use to the places where we want them. They are critical to every one of us and our economy. They work hard and make personal sacrifices.
“So the next time you encounter a truck on the highway and you’re forced to slow down briefly, rather than be impatient, give the driver a smile and a wave. That person is a hero, after all, and it costs nothing to make their day – and yours.”