Trainee truck driver’s accomplishments inspire staff

In April 2023, Promotional5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 14, 2023

Having started out driving an online delivery truck for Countdown, Mackenzie Lintern now sits behind a HIAB truck for Mackleys Carriers New Zealand in Auckland.

While truck driving wasn’t initially what she planned on doing, Mackenzie says she really enjoyed having her own space, meeting new people on the road, and seeing the sights.

“It appealed to me much more than an office job did,” she says. After getting her Class 2 licence, Mackenzie applied for the Te ara ki tua Road to Success – Driver Traineeship, which led her to employment with Mackleys.

Road to Success is supported by Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand, National Road Carriers and the New Zealand Trucking Association, representing transport operators nationwide. The Driver Traineeship is the industry’s recognised way of training and developing new drivers.

Road To Success partnered with MITO to establish four NZQA-approved micro-credentials, which, once completed, puts Class 2, 4 and 5 drivers well on the road to completing MITO’s New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator) (Level 3).

Mackenzie was the first person on the Road to Success – Driver Traineeship to complete all four MITO micro-credentials and then went on to complete the New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator).

“The micro-credentials reinforced what I was doing day to day at work, with the theory behind it,” she says.

“It was a pretty good workload; enough to keep me busy. Because everything was online, if I was waiting for a load for half an hour or 45 minutes, I was able to log in and do some of the coursework.”

Mackenzie says the programme helped her understand a lot more about how trucks work.

“I was completely clueless when I started,” she says. “Now it’s a lot easier to explain to mechanics if something goes wrong and have that confidence that you’re doing the right thing.

“I definitely recommend other people give it a go.”

Mackleys is a privately owned company with 90 trucks in the fleet, with 60% of the business based in Christchurch and 40% in Auckland.

Peter Danilo, North Island transport manager at Mackleys, says seeing Mackenzie evolve as a driver and develop her skills has been inspiring.

“Mackenzie is so keen to learn; she’s really dedicated to becoming the best driver she can be,” he says.

Peter says having a pipeline of training is beneficial for Mackleys.

“You get to know the driver and train them according to their strengths and weaknesses so you can really support them on something they’re not confident about, and celebrate them for what they do well,” he says.

“Having a solid training system means we can trust our staff to be safe, to get the job done right, and present the right image to the public – to be professional at all times. With a well-structured training programme, and having outside industry partners supporting it, we end up with a good driver pool, and customers enjoy their interactions with our drivers.”

Peter says supporting Mackenzie through the qualifications was easy.

“We’ve supported her, signing off on competencies, but it’s been very little workload on my part,” he says.

“It’s been mainly driven by Mackenzie, and MITO being in touch with her regularly. It’s not a strain on the business at all. It works really well.

“Mackenzie came to us as a young woman, and she’s proven to all the guys here who are much older, that if you really apply yourself, you can do it.

“It’s been inspirational to see how well she’s doing, and the guys who had all taken Mackenzie under their wing have a real sense of pride seeing what she’s accomplished.

“They’ve all got a kick out of it – it’s boosted the morale of the staff.”