Trucking Industry Awards celebrate best practice

The annual National Trucking Industry Awards recognise and celebrate exceptional individuals and companies operating in our trucking industry.

These awards were presented at the Foundation Sponsors gala dinner at Trucking Australia 2017, held at the Darwin Convention Centre on Friday, 23 June.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally congratulate and recognise the tremendous contributions these people have made to the industry. The winners in their respective categories represent exemplary performances, and amplify best practice to aspire to.

While each winner is outstanding, the entries we received for all the award categories were testimonies of people who love what they do, and have a deep passion for the trucking industry.

The winners were:

Don Watson Memorial Award: Ray Ablett, Abletts Transport (Queanbeyen, NSW).

Ablett started in the industry carrying timber and general goods in regional Victoria, driving for his father’s business. He purchased his own truck in the late 1970s. Ablett and his father then combined their businesses to form what is today a national company, Abletts Transport.

Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry: Roger Pickering, Pickering Transport Group (Swan Hill, Vic).

Pickering grew up in the Swan Hill district until he moved to Melbourne at age 15 and began his working life, subsequently joining the family transport business. Based in Mildura, Pickering’s business provides employment for hundreds of regional people. He is also a former president of NatRoad.

National Professional Driver of the Year: Danial McFee, Gilbert’s Transport Service Pty Ltd (Cavan, SA).

McFee has worked with Gilbert’s Transport for 31 years. In 1996, he started doing the regular triple road train run from Adelaide to Darwin and Tennant Creek. He averaged 288,000km per year and racked up six million kilometres on that route alone, doing it week in, week out, incident free.

National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year: Tracie Dickenson, Daryl Dickenson Transport (Archerfield, QLD)

In 1990, Tracie Dickenson met interstate driver Daryl Dickenson and learnt about interstate transport while travelling with him. In 2001, they formed Daryl Dickenson Transport, with one truck and one full-time employee. In 2003, they set up operations from their first depot in Wacol. Today the company has 40 trucks, more than 60 employees and storage facilities in Yatala.

National Training Excellence Award: De Bruyn’s Transport (Burnie, TAS).

Operated out of Tasmania by brothers John and Dirk de Bruyn, and cousin John de Bruyn, the company was established in 1965 by their great uncle, Cornelius de Bruyn. TruckSafe, National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS), Mass Management and Basic Fatigue Management accredited, De Bruyn’s strong training philosophy helps achieve the aim of ‘Safely Delivering the Goods’ productively and efficiently.

TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award for excellence in the TruckSafe program: Collins Adelaide (Adelaide, SA).

Commencing operations in 1965 as a wholly family-owned company, Collins Adelaide’s John Collins operated one tray truck between Adelaide and Melbourne. A TruckSafe member since 1997, the company now has more than 300 employees across South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria, while maintaining ‘a family tradition of customer service’.

We also acknowledged the two winners of the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Awards – Renzo Bruschi (Melbourne, VIC) and John Fabian (Enfield, SA).

Bruschi, a truck driver for over 30 years, was involved in a crash of more than ten vehicles in May 2016. He selflessly and courageously helped injured drivers in the crash.
Fabian, who spent 10 years in the military and over seven years as a truck driver, coordinated a response and assisted emergency services at the scene of a head-on collision between two passenger vehicles on a remote stretch of South Australia’s Eyre Highway in February 2017.

Our industry is made up of a great many exceptional and hardworking people, and I am honoured to participate in these prestigious awards that recognise the valuable and indelible influence these award recipients have on the industry.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) will announce the winners of the Craig Roseneder Award for Technical and Maintenance Excellence in the Workshop and the Castrol Vecton Industry Technical Achievement Award at the Castrol Vecton Awards Dinner at the 2017 Technical and Maintenance Conference, to be held in Melbourne, 16–18 October 2017.

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