Unsung heroes of the road win big for driving well
Hollard Trucking’s transformative annual road safety competition, Hollard Highway Heroes, has for the first time crowned two heroes, one in trucking and the other in the bus category.
Drivers Phineas Muhlanga from Reef Tankers and Gobatlamang J. Gabonewe from Megabus Kuruman were honoured as winners during the Hollard Highway Heroes finale event held at Emperors Palace in Gauteng on 24 November 2023.
Hollard Highway Heroes is a competition designed to create a broader awareness of truck and bus drivers' invaluable role in transporting goods and commuters, and to promote driving excellence and safer roads.
“Phineas and Gobatlamang form part of a cohort of truckers and bus drivers who traverse the highways daily to deliver goods and services, competing for the coveted title of Highway Hero,” says Olivia Kumalo, the Key Accounts Manager at Hollard Trucking Risk Services.
“Both winners demonstrated exceptional dedication to driving safely. They not only ensured that they would deliver goods and people on time, but they also prioritised safe driving practices while remaining vigilant to safeguard their fellow road users,” she adds.
This year, the Hollard Highway Heroes competition was opened to both bus and truck drivers for the first time.
“We also included all fleet owners across the country, regardless of whether they are insured with Hollard or not. We’re particularly proud to have made this competition more inclusive and to have a chance to honour our heroes,” Kumalo says.
Using telematics, participants are evaluated on various criteria, including whether they exceed speed limits (defined as driving over 85km/h for 15 seconds or more), daytime fatigue driving (covering more than 300km or driving for four hours without breaks), night-time driving (covering more than 150km or driving for two hours and 15 minutes without a pause), and overall distance travelled daily.
It is estimated that at least 80% of South Africans are active road users (as drivers, passengers or pedestrians), and this competition helps improve the driving habits of both truck and bus drivers, thereby making the roads safer and safeguarding their fleet owners against risk. Overall, it helps ensure that there are fewer accidents on our roads.
Since the competition started eight years ago, Hollard has paid out more than R1.4-million in cash and prizes to truck drivers. This year, Muhlanga and Gabonewe walked away with more than R200 000 and R100 000 in cash prizes, respectively.
"We're grateful to fleet owners, logistics companies and drivers for their participation in the competition. Our Highway Heroes have demonstrated that it can be done," says Paul Dangerfield, Head of Hollard Trucking.
He adds that Hollard Highway Heroes has grown substantially year on year since its inception.
“The competition attracted 220 entries in its first year, and in 2023 has grown in stature to attract 4 264 driver-entrants from 133 fleets – while also opening up entry to bus drivers, as well as non-Hollard-insured drivers. Reef Tankers is the first non-Hollard client to win Highway Heroes and we hope that this encourages more non-Hollard clients to enter in the future,” he says.
“The real impact of the Highway Heroes competition is that in keeping our roads safe, it doesn’t just create better futures for drivers and their fleet owners, but for all South Africans.”.