An award for all regions 

In Newsletter Editorial3 MinutesBy Dave McCoidApril 21, 2023

Something different and positive to end the week this time.

When I was young, we used to get the British publication, TRUCK magazine here in New Zealand. It was a great read, edited by a chap called Pat Kennett, a true legend in the world of commercial vehicle journalism. In particular, I loved his road tests of the time, a true evaluation with trucks towing a control set of trailers. They would take them to an airfield and run braking tests, cornering tests and all that jazz, before subjecting them to the same road circuit for what would end up pretty fair summation.

Of course, back then there were some great, and not so great, trucks. The reality is, you could still buy a Model T up until 1927, and the mid 1970s was less than 50 years on from there – the point being, in the ‘70s there were some fundamentals still being ironed out.

The establishment of the International Truck of the Year (IToY) jury in 1977 was the brainchild of Pat. Every 12 months, a body made up of leading commercial vehicle journalists in Europe would determine a vehicle that stood out above all others. The coveted award, and therefore influence of the jury in delivering better trucks to the world over for the last four and a half decades, is not to be underestimated.

These days, 24 jury members come together each year and decide on an overall truck of the year, and a Truck Innovation award.

Outside the foundation European jury, there are also Associate Memberships. An associate membership is awarded to one publication per country following nomination by a third party, and consideration by the IToY jury. In 2019, New Zealand Trucking magazine was made the associate member publication for New Zealand, something I found incredibly humbling at a personal level, and took immense pride in, considering my avid following of Pat Kenett’s work all those years ago.

As we all know, standing still is never an option in the pursuit of progress, growth, and relevance. In recent years, particularly under the stewardship of current chairperson Gianenrico Griffini, the international jury has supported and sanctioned regional Truck of the Year awards.

Mid last year, New Zealand Trucking magazine and our Australian Associate member colleague Power Torque magazine, began discussions about an award for our Australasian region. Our region is held in high regard on the international commercial vehicle journalism scene for its variation in topography, climate, and the outrageously cosmopolitan nature of our fleet make-up and associated trailing systems. Suffice to say, our enquiry was received and ratified with enthusiasm.

You can read the details released this week in the EDM below (CLICK HERE for the story). We are extremely excited by the opportunity to celebrate our region’s vehicles in this way.

All the best

Dave McCoid
Editorial Director