VISTA 2011 has already thrown up a couple of surprises, but few have been greater than the extraordinary success of Team Belmagistralavtotrans from Belarus. Despite competing in VISTA for the very first time, the team from Minsk have scored a perfect 30 in both rounds of VISTA 2011, and stand an excellent chance of qualifying for the semi finals in their first ever attempt.
“We hoped that we answered most questions correctly, but we are really surprised with 100%,” says Dzmitry Bunkevich, Parts manager. VISTA 2011 is the first time in the competition’s 57-year history to include teams from Belarus, and Belmagistralavtotrans only became an authorised Volvo Trucks dealer in 2008, making their flawless record even more impressive.
“We are really surprised. We have only two years experience of being an Volvo authorized workshop,” says Aliaksei Khaladkou, Warranty Manager. “However we do have a lot of experience with servicing trucks and busses – the whole team has about 40 years experience in total.”
All four members of Belmagistralavtotrans are in agreement that their success comes down to teamwork. “The secret of our success is that we are a team. Every member is a professional in a certain area and together we complement each other,” says Tkachev Viacheslav, Mechanic.
“We discuss every question together, every team member expresses their opinion and our answers are a result of this work,” says Maksim Zayats, Electrician. “VISTA helps us to train and cooperate as a team. We learn and acquire new knowledge together, and feel like we’re part of the bigger Volvo world.”
As one of the few teams in the East region to get every question right, Belmagistralavtotrans is in a strong position to qualify for the semi finals, which will be held in the Greek city of Thessaloniki in mid-April. “We are impressed at the scale of competition,” says Aliaksei. “We have seen that VISTA is not just a competition but is also an opportunity for education and acquiring new knowledge which can be used in our everyday work.”
Belmagistralavtotrans’ impressive performance has not only been good for their dealership but for Volvo Trucks in Belarus in general. “At first I was concerned about how we would go. We had some good teams and some good mechanics but this is our first time in VISTA,” says Nicholas Kjaer, General Manager Volvo Trucks Belarus. “The key to Belmagistralavtotrans’ success is that they take VISTA very seriously. They are very focused and prioritise the time to prepare for the competition.”
On hearing Belmagistralavtotrans’ impressive Round One score, Nicholas immediately went out to congratulate the team personally, giving each member a small gift to show his appreciation. “I am very proud of the team,” he says. “Their success will have a ripple effect on all our mechanics. It has shown what is possible, and I expect that for VISTA 2013, we’ll perform even better and have much better representation.”