SDLG Thailand Top Driver participants are put to the test in the first round of the competition in Suphanburi, Thailand.
Following the launch announcement at the end of April, the inaugural event in SDLG’s Top Driver Thailand has taken place. The program is aimed at enhancing machine operators’ skills and improving safe practice on site. There were 60 participants at the first event which took place May 25 through 29 in Suphanburi.
In partnership with its national distributor Italthai Industrial (ITI), SDLG staged its first Top Driver event outside of its native China, with a well-attended function in Suphanburi, Thailand on May 25. The four-day program kicked off with a series of lectures and training courses from SDLG and ITI staff. The classes covered topics such as good operating practice, parts and service, and safe operation protocol. This was followed by a series of practical demonstrations, with both live machinery and a simulator.
SDLG’s Top Driver Thailand is open to anyone interested in operating equipment, whether they currently work in the industry or not. It is being run in association with the Thai government’s Ministry of Manpower and a number of officials from the department attended the first event, which welcomed 60 participants.
SDLG marketing team, local government officials, Italthai management, head of the Thailand training centre in attendance of the theory test.
Following the educational program that kicked off the event, participants then sat a theory test before moving on to several operational challenges on a wheel loader simulator. Those with the best combined performances after the written and practical tests were then advanced to a final round where they were tested on an actual SDLG wheel loader, undertaking a number of operating challenges.
At the end all 60 participants received government-endorsed certificates and awards and the top 10 operators were also advanced to the final of the program, which will take place in mid-August.
There was strong media coverage of the event and Pipop Boontum, an official of the provincial council of Suphanburi, told local TV station CGTV that SDLG Top Driver Thailand would help deliver higher levels of efficiency to Thailand’s construction industry at a time when activity levels are expected to rise.
“SDLG Top Driver Thailand will help us set new standards for the construction industry by promoting the right values and increasing the skill levels of workers,” he said. “This is especially relevant when China’s One Road One Belt Policy will stimulate the construction and infrastructure industries in Thailand. We want to encourage more people to participate in the program and to spread the positive values as far as we can.”
In addition to running the Top Driver program the four-day event also staged a small exhibition highlighting the full range of equipment available from SDLG and the many applications it is suited to. Once of the most popular applications for SDLG wheel loaders is for material handling in the rice industry.
Among those visiting the Suphanburi event was Mr Manasapon, chairman of Thailand Rice Mill Association, who said he was impressed with the Top Driver initiative.
“SDLG’s program will help create more job opportunities for the construction and agricultural industries in Thailand. Those taking part gained greater awareness of good operating practice in the rice mill industry and other industries.”
Participants from across Thailand are now being invited to register for the next stages of the 2015 Thailand Top Driver. The next event is in Surat Thani in the south of Thailand, from June 22 to 26, and this will be followed by an event in Khon Kaen, in the northeast of the country, from July 2 to 6. The final will be held in Suphanburi from August 17 to 19.