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Always There.

COLLEAGUE PORTRAIT Patricia Östman

Kapellskär – Gothenburg, without using the brakes

For Patricia Östman, truck driving is about competing – for safe and functional traffic. Patricia's home address is in Närpiö, but she spends most of her time in the cabin, on the road somewhere in Sweden or Finland.

Patricia's employer is Ab Ahlviks Åkeri Oy from Pedersöre, one of Ahola's concept partners, and over the past five years she has worked in her dream profession. "I try to do my best for the good of my employer; then I will do good as well" – that is Patricia's work ethic. Patricia is competitive, and every stage driven is a competition performance. She has driven the route Kapellskär - Gotheburg (550 km) without applying the brakes, which comes natural for this junior national team level ice-hockey player; the playbook has been replaced by the Ahola Online Concept. In her role as the driver, Patricia is competing with herself, trying to achieve the smallest possible fuel consumption. This can be achieved by letting the truck roll when approaching hills and crossroads. It is a question of proactive driving: the distance to the vehicle in front is maintained sufficient, and the truck's weight is used to minimize the wasted energy from braking. Thus other road users can feel safe when encountering a driver who drives like Patricia does. The Vehco System and the Ahola Green Wheels Index (take into account the wasted energy from speeding, idle running, breaking and the decreasing of speed in engine braking) automatically report any performance specific result. Thanks to modern technology, the burning enthusiasm and will to develop directed at daily work can be transformed into a healthy competitive performance which brings positive compound impacts, not least for traffic safety and the environment.

Patricia represents a young and ambitious stock of drivers; her modern professionalism manifests as a high work ethic and a constant aim for excellence. Her endearing response to the common question - which is based on a stereotypical conception - about her favourite music and foods during long hauls demolishes the remaining myths: "I listen to the current affairs programs on the Swedish radio, and I try to avoid junk food." – A large truck and its valuable cargo are in safe hands.