ATA & Bridgestone honour hero truck driver

About a month ago, I was honoured to be elected as Chair of the Australian Trucking Association during its Annual General Meeting.

As a long time ATA Director, I’ve met many industry figures at industry events over the years. I look forward to meeting many more of you during my time as ATA Chair.

My background is in refrigerated transport. As the Managing Director of Don Watson Transport, one of Australia’s leading refrigerated logistics companies, I have personal experience with the issues faced by Australia’s trucking operators.

My fleet consists of more than 70 line haul prime movers, as well as data logged refrigerated pantechnicons, B-doubles, container trailers, stock crates, and rigid vehicles for local deliveries.

As ATA Chair, I aim to promote better health for truck drivers, as well as having our drivers treated in a more professional way. I’m also devoted to improving the public perception of the transport industry and working closely with the ATA’s member associations.

I’d like to thank our outgoing Chairman, David Simon, for his extensive efforts over the last four years. David has worked tirelessly with the NHVR, the NTC and politicians on behalf of transport operators and the ATA. His passion for the ATA is evident in the number of meetings he’s attended, the miles he’s travelled, and the time he’s spent away from his family on behalf of our industry.

The ATA also welcomes two new directors, Austin Vella and Gordon Martin.

In line with my goal to improve the perception of the trucking industry, my first public event as ATA Chair was the launch of the new Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award.

The award recognises the community service performed by professional truck drivers who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those around them during the course of their normal work.

Together with Bridgestone Managing Director, Andrew Moffatt, I presented the first of these awards at the Melbourne International Truck, Trailer & Equipment Show in April to hero truck driver Brad Morrison from Nightingale Transport.

On Thursday, 14 November last year, Brad came on the scene of a tragic accident on the Cunningham Highway near Aratula, which had left a young mother unconscious and both her and her baby trapped in a burning car.

Brad pulled up his truck and jumped out to see if he could help. As he ran up around the back of the car, he heard the baby crying. Brad was able to get through the flames, smoke and fuel surrounding the scene to rescue the baby from the back seat. The car then exploded. Sadly, the mother could not be saved.

While I would like to extend our greatest sympathies to the family, Brad’s quick thinking and decisive action enabled him to save the child at great risk to his own life.  He’s a credit to our industry, and a very deserving winner of the first Highway Guardian Award. For more information about the award or to nominate a hero, visit

The Melbourne truck show was also the site for the official opening of the 2014 ATA tender, which this year offers a Volvo FH540 Euro 5 Prime Mover, Thermo King painted 75th anniversary Precedent S600 fridge unit, Thermo King SB330 fridge unit, and CIMC Flat Deck Curtainsider B-double trailer set for sale.

The proceeds of the sales go to support the ATA’s campaigns to improve the safety, professionalism and viability of the Australian trucking industry. To place a bid on any item in the tender and for more information about the tender process,

All bid amounts are confidential, and the winning bidders will be announced at Trucking Australia 2014. All bids must be placed by 5pm on 19 May 2014.

Leave a Reply

  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend