Introducing the Truck of the Year Australasia Award

In News5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 21, 2023

In 2023, the inaugural Truck of the Year Australasia (ToYA) will be awarded to the truck that meets criteria based on those used globally by the other three International Truck of the Year (IToY) awards already in existence, but also taking into account the particular characteristics of the Australasian truck market.

The award will be an annual event and will be hosted in alternate years in Australia and New Zealand, beginning in 2023 at the Brisbane Truck Show in May. A corresponding biennial show in New Zealand is planned for March 2024.

Australasia presents truck makers with challenges unlike those faced elsewhere in the world. Trucks from Europe, North America and Asia work in the harshest conditions, extreme heat, sub-zero temperatures and mountainous topography, at weights up to and over 200 tonnes in some cases, and are running at higher speeds than most of the rest of the world.

The main criterion for the nomination and the election of any truck as ‘Truck-of-the-Year Australasia’ should be its contribution to the standards of safety and efficiency of transporting goods by road in Australasia.

Any truck which fulfils the criterion and which has a gross vehicle mass 4.5 tonnes or above is eligible. The truck must contain considerable technological improvements; a minor facelift etc does not make a truck eligible. The trucks nominated must be released by a date determined by the jury to allow time to assess the nominations, shall be produced in series and shall be ordered according to an official price list.

The Evolution of ITOY

The IToY award was initially launched in 1977 by the British journalist and legendary editor of TRUCK magazine, Pat Kennett. Today, the 24 jury members represent leading commercial vehicle magazines throughout Europe.

In the last few years, the IToY Group has extended its sphere of influence by appointing ‘Associate Members’ in the growing truck markets of China, India, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Iran, New Zealand, Israel, and Malaysia. Altogether, the combined truck operator readership of the 24 IToY full-jury members’ magazines and those of its 10 associate members exceeds 1,100,000.

This expansion of the IToY membership has seen the initial IToY concept expand with the awarding of the Truck of the Year Latin America, and Chinese Truck of the Year. Now, the concept makes its way Down Under with the first Truck of the Year Australasia due to be presented in May 2023.

As International Truck of the Year Jury Associate Members, Tim Giles, Power Torque editor, and Dave McCoid, New Zealand Trucking Media editorial director, represent the trucking media in Australia and New Zealand. They both have had a lifetime working in the road transport industry, both as truck drivers and, more latterly, as truck journalists.

To choose the ToYA winner a jury of five people will assess the trucks nominated. Apart from Tim and Dave, South Africa’s IToY member Charleen Clarke, editor of Focus on Transport and Logistics, will be joined by two industry experts, without brand affiliations, one from Australia and one from New Zealand.

ToYA 2023 nominees

Choosing the nominations for the 2023 Truck of the Year Australasia has been complicated by the effects of the pandemic on the flow of technology and vehicles, at a time when travel and supply chains have suffered major disruption.

As a result, the judging panel has allowed some fluidity with the dates the trucks were on sale (released after 31 December 2021 and before 31 March 2023). Any contenders need to be available in both markets.

The trucks nominated for ToYA 2023 are (in no particular order):

  • MAN TG3
  • Kenworth K220
  • Iveco S-Way
  • Fuso Shogun 510

All of them have been driven by, at least, Tim Giles and Dave McCoid. In following years, we hope to enable other jury members to sit in the driver’s seat as well.

The inaugural award will be presented at the Brisbane truck show in May.