Scania’s Young Australian Truck Driver named

26-year-old Rick Lockwood was judged best in a program testing on-road driving skills, manoeuvring skills, knowledge of road rules, driver attitude and ability to be an industry role model.

The competitors, all under the age of 40, were awarded for demonstrating superior knowledge, good judgement in traffic and fuel-efficient driving skills, with a focus on calm and safe driving over speed.

Winner Rick Lockwood, who initially began driving in 2000, scored 18,200 out of a possible 25,000 points and was presented with $10,000, and a $4000 travel voucher. Rick said he may use some of the prize money to visit his wife Amy’s homeland, Ireland. “But first it is to absorb what I have achieved. It’s quite unbelievable.”

Scania Australia Managing Director Roger McCarthy said Rick proved he had the right skills and attitude to be named Australia’s best Young Truck Driver. “Lockwood is an all-rounder with exceptional knowledge of what it takes to be a professional driver and is someone who can be an ambassador for young people in our industry by sharing his dedication and professional approach to his work,” Roger said.

Rick added, “It is very special to receive recognition in an industry which does not give it to very many people.”

Rick Lookwood, who turns 27 in December, first began driving in Tamworth, New South Wales, moving race horses with his father from Sydney to Port Macquarie. “I would not be here today if it was not for Jim Pearson Transport who gave me the first break; especially Paul Jones and Jim Pearson Junior,” he said. “Now I’m looking forward to starting my own business one day, but for the short term it is back to Perth and heading to Port Hedland next week.”

In the long term, Rick aims at setting an example for a new generation of ambitious drivers and helping to raise the industry profile in schools among 16 and 17-year-olds. “I hope I can use my position to help educate young people about trucks and how to behave around them and support them to be recruited into the industry.”

First held in Australia in 2007, the Scania Young Australian Truck Driver competition is affiliated with the worldwide Scania Driver competition, which has been taking place in 18 countries throughout 2010 and is expected to attract around 10,000 entrants, making it the largest competition of its kind. More than 400 entered the Australian competition.

“The competition plays an important part in highlighting the best driving practices which will translate to safer driving and improved road safety conditions for all road users,” Roger McCarthy said. “These continue as challenging times for the Australian transport industry. There is uncertainty in the market, a changing political environment, potential for rising fuel costs, increasingly congested driving conditions and ongoing environmental concerns.

“That is why the competition is firmly focused on promoting road safety at the highest level and economical driving.”

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