Two in a row for Heidi Inkster, New Zealand‘s top Hino technician

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 11, 2019

Heidi Inkster (Truckstops Wellington), Aniceto Dimaculangan (Truckstops Auckland) and Nathan Douglas (Truckstops Wellington).

For the second consecutive year, Heidi Inkster from Truckstops Wellington has won the national final of the Hino New Zealand Skills Contest.

The competition, jointly run between Hino Distributors NZ and its aftersales support partner, Truckstops, saw 38 Truckstops technicians test their knowledge of the Hino product, with the top three making the national finals in October.

In the final, Nathan Douglas (Truckstops Wellington), Aniceto Dimaculangan (Truckstops Auckland) and Heidi Inkster (Truckstops Wellington) each worked hard for three hours to find and fix faults on 300, 500 and 700 Series Hino trucks.  The competition was friendly but fierce, with each contestant intent on taking out first place.

At the awards dinner, Hino NZ general manager Darren Salt announced that by the narrowest of margins, Inkster took first place, with Douglas second. It was extremely close between all three contestants with Inkster and Douglas on the same points, requiring the stopwatch to determine a winner.

“The three finalists this year worked to a very high standard and did an amazing job under pressure,” says Simon Wilson, Hino NZ‘s technical manager. “It‘s not easy identifying and fixing faults when there is a live audience, a judge watching your every move, and a camera strapped to your head!”

Salt said that 2019 had been an exciting year for Hino New Zealand with the introduction of the new 500 Series Standard Cab and the raft of safety features it brings to the market.

“Our skills contest provides us with an opportunity to raise the technical knowledge across our entire after-sales network for current and new product.”

The Truckstops top apprentice was also recognised with Nicola Kaliopasi (Truckstops Auckland) taking out first place.

“We were pleased to see a number of apprentices competing in this year‘s event and felt it important to specifically recognise Nico for his efforts,” said Truckstops general manager Kevin Smith. “Our apprenticeship programme, supported by our National Development Centre, allows us to nurture and develop our people by providing a clear and rewarding career path across the Truckstops nationwide network.”

The event was also supported by Hino Japan. Masahide Kagawa and Kazutoshi Watanabe from Hino Motors Ltd made the trip from Japan specifically for the event.

Douglas has been invited to attend Hino Australia‘s event in November to go head-to-head with one of Australia‘s top Hino technicians, and Inkster will once again attend the world prizegiving in Japan early next year.

See New Zealand Trucking January 2019 for a feature on Heidi Inkster.