Road Transport Awards recognise community spirit and innovation

4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 28, 2018

An emotional Greg Inch from Greg Inch Earthmoving was the winner of the VTNZ Outstanding Contribution to Road Transport at the 2018 NZ Road Transport Industry Awards, held Wednesday night at a gala dinner in Dunedin.

Inch received the award for his work establishing and running Special Rigs for Special Kids.

Special Rigs for Special Kids gives special needs children an opportunity to ride in a truck and get up close and personal with the machinery. It provides families with special needs children a fun day out and attracts up to 200 trucks each year.

Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley said the awards were a celebration of old-fashioned community spirit and innovation in the industry.

“Special Rigs for Special Kids really is a fantastic community event and it is fitting that the industry recognises Greg‘s hard work and the impact his event has for hundreds of Otago families through this award,” said Shirley.

The Teletrac Navman Industry Innovation Award went to Sysdoc and Fonterra for the development of the Transport Contractor Induction Training model used at Fonterra sites across New Zealand.

Fonterra and Sysdoc got together to develop an easy to use online training tool so that contract drivers could complete health and safety induction training at any time before visiting a Fonterra site – reducing delays, providing flexibility, and lessening the logistical burden of changing schedules.

Safe Business Solutions won the EROAD Outstanding Contribution to Health and Safety Award for their E-Text health and safety system. The E-Text system was acknowledged by nominators as an effective and efficient way for staff to communicate health and safety issues across an organisation that relies on a mobile workforce.

The Outstanding Contribution to Training Award was presented to Derek Nees of Nelson‘s TIL Freight for a lifetime of work promoting and working on improving training and qualifications across the industry.

“Derek has played a prominent role in advising industry training organisations and reviewing driver qualifications to align with what the industry requires a driver to do on the job and he continues to make a big contribution through the development a qualifications pathway for drivers from secondary school to the industry,” said Shirley.

The Castrol Truck Driver Hero Award for 2018, which recognises a driver who has significantly contributed to the safety of others, was won by Fonterra driver Phil Newton, who exhibited extraordinary calmness and composure in stopping his truck to sit with and talk to a young woman who was looking to jump off the Arapuni Dam in the Waikato.

“Assisting a stranger who is suicidal is fraught with so many difficulties, but Phil‘s empathy shone through and he made a real difference that day. Phil‘s intuition, calm approach and empathy saved the young woman‘s life,” said Shirley.

“The New Zealand road transport industry is blessed with many exceptional people and organisations. I‘m pleased that as an industry we can come together and appropriately acknowledge these outstanding contributors, whether they be innovators, educators or just good people who make a difference in their community,” said Shirley.