Palibex successfully completes Dakar 2018

The 40th edition of the rally-raid was one of the toughest in history.

01 Feb 2018 Fuente: Palibex
Dakar 2018

This January, FIELDEAS has been a co-sponsor of the Palibex DakarTeam in its adventure towards the Dakar 2018. A shared challenge that we have supported from afar.

“A challenge for those who leave. A dream for those who stay.” Thierry Sabine, the creator of the Dakar

This year was especially important, as it was the 40th anniversary of the first rally-raid, but it will be remembered for having been one of the toughest and most difficult editions. Almost 9,000 kilometers traveled through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, with rarely favorable weather and many casualties along the way. A real challenge for the team.

The team’s manager, Juan Lopez, has highlighted, above all, the support he has received from the people. He told how, passing through a village of no more than 200 inhabitants, he approached a very old man sitting on a bench, waving a Peruvian flag, and asked him: Why do you like the Dakar so much? Answering him: At 84 years old, I have never left my village and seeing it makes me dream of other places..

We sat down today with Jaime Colsa, founder and CEO of Palibex, to hear his views on this venture.

Of all the challenges you could have ventured into, you have chosen this test. What has been the main reason?

At Palibex we have always liked challenges and, in that sense, the Dakar is the ultimate sporting challenge. But also, participating with a truck team seemed predestined for us because their work in this competition has many similarities with our daily work. Just as these giants cross the desert at full speed to arrive first at each stage, at Palibex we try to be the fastest and provide logistical assistance wherever we are needed. Later, when we delved deeper into the adventure, we discovered that it fit perfectly with our values and that it gave us a great projection since it is one of the most followed sporting events in the world.

Why did you choose a truck team to compete in the Dakar?

As a transport company, one of our main missions is to promote the importance of trucks. Without them the Dakar could not take place, which connects with an idea that we have always defended: the importance of logistics and the need to make visible a vital sector for everything to work. So far from sponsoring Peterhansel’s car, Loeb’s car or that of Carlos Sainz himself, we have opted for a truck team, the PBX Dakar Team, whose challenge was not so much to win as to go all the way.

What values do you think the PBX Dakar Team has transmitted during this edition?

The Palibex team has defended the main values of our company, which are also the most important for the organization of the Dakar: solidarity, respect for the environment and concern for safety. The PBX Dakar Team has attracted attention for its reliability and the way they managed their stay in the bivouac, as they always wore uniforms, kept the boxes tidy, held brotherhood meals and, above all, kept the joy and good atmosphere despite having been on board a truck for so many hours and without sleep.

More than 50% of the trucks competing in this category dropped out of the 2018 Dakar, but your team made it to the end. How was the preparation for such an ordeal?

Of the two trucks that competed and were in charge of providing quick assistance to other teams, the greatest difficulty was to prepare the 4X4. This vehicle, a prototype created by QF Trucks and Pep Sabaté, was equipped with an automatic transmission system that has been a trend-setter for the coming year. Working with this truck has required a lot of testing and a highly trained team. It is there, in the quality of the team, where for me lies the main merit of this Dakar, since all of them have set an example of behavior and human values.

The participants highlighted the toughness of this edition, full of obstacles and surprises. At any stage did you think the team would not make it?

Yes, we thought we had to give up on several occasions. The first time, when the truck got into a sand pot in Peru, with 17 other cars and seven trucks that were also trapped, and another time in Bolivia, when the cardan shaft that carries the front transmission of the 4X4 truck broke and it took us many hours to fix it. There, as in the rest of the obstacles that the PBX Dakar Team had to overcome, we were saved by the team’s continuous vocation to continue and to move forward.

Given the adverse conditions of the terrain and the physical overexertion of the pilots, the challenge was as much for the team as for the machines. How did you deal with both adverse factors?

As the Team Manager of the Team, Juan Lopez, has told us, in such a difficult race the most important thing to face these adverse conditions is to have a very clear work method, especially at the end of each stage, scheduling well the action of the mechanics and preparing the arrival of the riders so that they can hydrate and rest.

First impressions or any anecdotes after the experience?

The first impression could not be better because we are the only Spanish team that has reached the finish line and we have been classified among the first twenty participants. However, the most important thing for us is not so much our sporting role, but our human role. In fact, we want to share all the situations and anecdotes that the team has experienced with all the people who work with us so that they can continue to enjoy them through talks and our social networks. Those who have participated in the Dakar say it is a life-changing experience.

And finally, are you satisfied with the result obtained?

We are very pleased to have been able to share this adventure with the 650 people who represent our Network in Spain and with partners such as FIELDEAS. Regardless of the outcome, we always thought that the experience would be a success if we were able to make it enjoyable not only for those who have traveled to South America, but also for all of us who have stayed here following the adventure day by day.


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Lola Hurtado

Marketing Manager at FIELDEAS

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