Glenn Yogi Kendall this year's Scania Driver of the Year!
Glenn Yogi Kendall this year's Scania Driver of the Year!

Yogi goes from Outback Trucker to mega trucker

WESTERN Australia's Glenn "Yogi" Kendall has emerged victorious from a day's duelling with 11 rivals for the title of Scania Truck Driver Champion in the bi-annual test of skills and knowledge.

This was the fifth outing for the Australian version of Scania's long-running global challenge to find the country's best truck driver.

The extrovert owner-driver of Kendall Trucking & Co was ecstatic to finish ahead of a classy field of finalists that included a female competitor for the first time.

Filling second place for the second event running was Cameron Henry from Bordertown Haulage in Victoria, while one of Glenn's close friends, Scott Savory from SavTrans, was a second WA top-three finisher.

All finalists were challenged to undertake 10 manoeuvring activities behind the wheel of a Scania G 480 prime mover pulling a Freighter curtainsider, undertake a dog-leg reversing test in a G 480 B-double, and a drive of Melbourne's traffic-infested roads in a G 480 pulling a Schmitz Cargobull pantech.

In the classroom, each of the finalists had to answer 30 road rule questions as well as undertake a simulated media interview to gauge their views on the transport industry and how to improve the lot of transport drivers.

"Scania put 12 talented finalists through a tough series of tests on the road and behind a desk in order to determine who would win the coveted Champion status," said Ron Szulc, Brand & Communication Manager for Scania Australia.

"This unique competition puts the spotlight on safe, skilful and efficient driving, underscoring the high levels of professionalism among today's drivers.

"Day-to-day, Australia's truck drivers are largely unappreciated for the hard work they do against tough deadlines and often in uncomfortable conditions," Ron said.

"By putting these finalists to the test we expose their high levels of ability, but also importantly give them a chance to meet with other like-minded, passionate and committed drivers who can impact the industry with their professionalism, courtesy and leadership.

"As a company, we put a lot of effort into supporting drivers and enhancing their standing within their communities locally and globally via the Scania Driver Competitions. We congratulate not only the winners but all the finalists for their efforts today and everyday."

Yogi said he was excited and overjoyed to have emerged at the head of the field.

"It's amazing, unbelievable," he said. "I felt I got one of the first tests wrong, so I had to stop and take stock and then focus on every element of the manoeuvring. I had to give everything 110%.

"The switch to a state-of-the art (cab-over) Scania was one of the biggest things to get to grips with during the tests," he said.

"This event is good to meet other like-minded passionate people who want to push themselves forward in this industry. You have got to be in to win it," Glenn said.

Glenn drives a bonneted American truck on a daily basis pulling a single trailer designed for oversize application.

"I'll cart anything," he said. "If I can get it on the back of my truck, I will cart it. From a $600,000 combine harvester to a vintage bike frame."

Glenn has a burning passion for setting to right some of the issues he has seen in 20 years driving and four years as the owner of his own business, Kendall Trucking & Co, based Katanning in South West WA.

"The general public's perception of trucking is they see lumps of metal going down the road. They don't see that the someone behind that lump of metal is a real life person that deals with real life situations and has a life outside of trucks.

"We need more education and a massive revamp in the transport industry to bring a better level of understanding (of what we do) and then be able to attract better level of driver to the industry," he said.

Glenn and his wife Amanda and their son Jack and daughter Lucinda, have been featured on The Discovery Channel's Outback Truckers made by Perth's Prospero Productions.

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