Good things worth waiting for

In December 2022 / January 2023, Features4 MinutesBy Gavin MyersJanuary 28, 2023

The truly good things in life are often down to earth and unassuming – as it was for AJ Sing and his Daily Freight Iveco Stralis X-Way 570, the 2021-2022 New Zealand Trucking John Murphy Memorial Top Truck of the Year.

The last entry in the 2021-2022 competition, AJ’s X-Way, was up against some stiff competition and we expected close voting. However, a clear frontrunner soon emerged and held the lead as the votes streamed in between 12 August and 18 September. Undoubtedly, the win went to an exceptionally deserving, committed operator – one of the industry’s good guys.

It was a rainy mid-November day when we headed down to AJ’s hometown of Palmerston North for the award handover at Mainfreight’s Tremaine Avenue depot. Incredibly, as we rolled into town, the weather gods dried up the Manawatu skies. This year, the New Zealand Trucking team was accompanied for the first time by Rochelle Thomas, the talented artist behind Auto Art by Rochelle, who coordinates the Little Truckers’ Club section in the magazine. As usual, Rochelle created a custom painting of the winning poster. She was overjoyed to present it to AJ in person.

Likewise, Dave Leicester, director of Power Retreads, was in attendance once again and presented our winner with a set of Vipal DV-RT4 retreaded tyres. These tyres are designed for high mileage due to their wider contact area with the road, uniform wear, excellent grip and abrasion- resistant compound. They’re Vipal’s go-to longhaul highway tread pattern – ideal for AJ’s daily Wellington-Palmerston North-Auckland freight run.

From left: Rochelle Thomas, AJ Singh, Dave Leicester and Gavin Myers.

“It’s been a fantastic journey, from buying the Iveco to being awarded the Top Truck prize. Who wouldn’t want that?” AJ says with a smile.

The winning truck has now clocked up around 180,000km and, in September, AJ added a second to his fleet, which is already well on its way to covering more than 40,000km.

“The X-Way has been great so far and is just right for the application. But I can’t say enough about the team at Iveco. From their dedicated sales team to their after- sales team, which is always willing to do what’s needed to keep downtime to a minimum, they have been great partners through it all,” says AJ.

“Thank you to the team behind the Top Truck of the Year award, and to everyone who voted for the X-Way. Maybe next year I’ll enter the new S-Way!” AJ says with a laugh, hinting at future things to come.

Indeed, the team from New Zealand Trucking magazine thanks all 11 participants in this year’s competition, each of you can be proud of the spectacular machines you’ve worked so hard to put on the road. And, of course, a huge thank-you to everyone who voted. More than 6000 individual votes were cast this year, some of the highest numbers we’ve seen. Undoubtedly, the calibre of the 2022-2023 contenders will have the voters clamouring for more come August 2023!

A very proud truckie.