As the contest officially kicked off in Rostov last month, SDLG sets out to promote its signature campaign to a larger audience at CTT 2017, Russia’s largest construction equipment trade show in Moscow. It’s the second year the company has organized a series of competitions and training programs in Russia that advocate safe machine operation and high operating standards.
SDLG’s Top Driver contest is once again underway in Russia. 2017 marks the second year the global competition is being held in the country. Four cities will host operator competitions over the course of the year, including Rostov, Simferopol, Krasnoyarsk and St. Petersburg.
The goal of Top Driver is to promote skill and safety among wheel loader operators around the world. It comprises both skills competitions, as well as free training workshops and charity programs. First introduced in China in 2013, the Top Driver contest quickly became popular among operators, expanding first to Thailand in 2015 and then to Russia in 2016. The campaign has garnered extensive support from the Russian equipment industry, with more than 50 of the country’s companies participating.
The first competition of the year was held in Rostov (highlights here) on April 20, with 32 operators taking part in challenges that tested operator skills and dexterity. Participants completed several challenges involving lifting and placing of delicate household objects to demonstrate the finesse of the machinery as well as the skills of the operators. Similar contests will be held in all four cities throughout the year, and the winner will be declared the Top Driver in Russia for 2017 during a ceremony this fall at SDLG’s headquarters in Linyi, China.
“We are delighted to bring back the Top Driver competition to Russia for a second year. In addition to bringing together the whole industry under a common theme, it is also a great opportunity for us to interact with the operators that use our equipment,” explained Tan Shanwen, regional manager of SDLG. “We expect to see an increase in competitors in 2017 for this great contest, which will help us spread a message of skill and safety even further.”
As part of the Top Driver campaign, SDLG also offers free training workshops where participants can learn about the code of practice for safe use of machines, as well as gain knowledge in wheel loader maintenance and repair. The classes are a gateway for novice operators who are considering a career in the industry to get first-hand knowledge from a well-established equipment manufacturer.
Charity is also part of the Top Driver campaign. SDLG staff, dealers and contest participants have all pledged to visit orphanages in Rostov, Simferopol, Krasnoyarsk and St. Petersburg to donate education and medical supplies, as well as basic appliances for the children.
The Top Driver campaign is the culmination of 13 years of SDLG’s commitment to the Russian market. The brand is currently represented by three dealers in the country: Moscow-based Rusbusiness Auto (RBA) and SDT, and Kemerovo-based Kemerovo Metal Industry Company. The combined service network of these dealers covers almost every corner of the country and is responsible for selling most of the SDLG wheel loaders in the region each year. RBA is also a co-organizer of the Top Driver contest.
The next round of competition will be held in Simferopol on June 20, followed by two other rounds in Krasnoyarsk and St. Petersburg on September 7 and 21.
“The success of our Top Driver campaign in Russia is important to the overall health of the industry,” explained Tan. “The promotion of standardization in training will not only improve the quality of operators, it will help attract more people to consider starting a career in the field.”