All-star cast in line for trucking awards

Some of the trucking industry’s most respected and recognisable identities are in line to be rewarded for their efforts

All-star cast in line for trucking awards
All-star cast in line for trucking awards
May 16, 2011

Some of the trucking industry’s most respected and recognisable identities are in line to be rewarded for their efforts at the 2011 National Trucking Industry Awards.

The owners of respected transport company Nolan’s Interstate Transport, industry advocate Rod Hannifey and Trans-Help founder Dianne Carroll have been named as finalists for the awards, which will be announced on May 27.

For the first time, the awards are also recognising acts of bravery by truck drivers.

"The quality of this year’s finalists is remarkable. They include some of the most dedicated people in the industry who have worked tirelessly to raise Australian trucking to higher levels of safety and professionalism," Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chairman David Simon says.

Hannifey, who is well known for his strong stance on issues such as rest areas and driver safety, has been nominated for the Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry Award and the National Professional Driver of the Year Award.

The ATA says Hannifey has travelled more than 3 million kilometres in B-doubles, winning safety awards and recognition for his blue reflector campaign along the way.

"Rod began his trucking career at a young age and drove his first road train when he was 16 years old," the ATA says.

He will compete with K&S Freighters’ Simon Skazlic and Nolan’s owners Terry and Daphne Nolan for the Outstanding Contribution Award.

Skazlic, who is also a member of the ATA’s general council, has worked for K&S for more than 20 years. During that time he has held the post of general manager of compliance and general manger of occupational health and safety and compliance.

"When Terry and Daphne Nolan took over DM and MT Nolan from his father, the business had three trucks and three employees. Today, the company employs 165 people, runs 230 trucks and has cold storage for more than 1,000 pallets of produce," the ATA says.

Hannifey will vie with John Hastie from Blenners Transport and Michael Cavanagh from Whiteline Transport in the professional driver category.

"With more than 5.5 million kilometres under his belt without damaging a vehicle or his produce load, John brings a professional attitude and great skill to the industry," the ATA says.

It says Hastie, who began driving in the UK before moving to Australia in the early 1970s, has more than 43 years of driving experience.

Cavanagh has worked for Whiteline Transport for more than 19 years and was one of the company’s first drivers to adapt to the new advanced fatigue management (AFM) module.

"A professional inside and outside the truck, Mick has an unblemished safety and compliance record while doing one of the toughest runs in the country – Adelaide to Perth return, and is also always on time with his paperwork," the ATA says.

Three drivers will compete for the Highway Guardian Award, a new addition to the awards ceremony recognising acts of bravery.

Michael Munchow from Sedl Transport has been named a finalist for his actions during the Queensland floods earlier this year.

The ATA says Munchow took action when a couple in their car were caught in a torrent of floodwater and hurled down the main street of Withcott in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley.

"At great risk to himself, Michael Munchow backed his semi-trailer into a pole to stop the car and pulled them into the cab of his truck," the ATA says.

Greg Twidale from John Kelly & Sons Transport has also been named a finalist for his actions when the floods crashed through Toowoomba. Twidale drove his rig into the floodwaters and threw a strap to a stranded motorist so she could anchor herself in case her car was swept away.

The ATA says Twidale remained in the floodwaters for an hour until rescuers arrived.

Both drivers will compete with Australia Post’s Greg Elton, who was driving his B-double north on the Pacific Highway last year when a car travelling veered into his lane. Elton swerved to the left to avoid a head-on collision.

"Because of his excellent driving skills, Greg was able to keep the truck upright. He parked up safely and used his skills as a former ambulance officer to look after the injured car driver while they waited for an ambulance. The car driver survived the accident," the ATA says.

Trans-Help CEO and Managing Director Dianne Carroll has been nominated for the Trucking Industry Woman of the Year Award for her work to support drivers and families through her charity.

"The foundation provides emergency respite, a national support line a mobile health and support unit," the ATA says.

Carroll last year was given $100,000 after winning the national competition, Australia’s Most Helpful Person.

West Australia native Sue Rowe from Macao Consulting and GMK Logistics CEO Sharon Kane will compete with Carroll for the Woman of the Year Award.

Rowe is a long-time trucking industry veteran and a qualified auditor trained in compliance, accreditation, fatigue management and occupational health and safety.

Kane oversees the multi-million dollar family-owned GMK, which has depots in every state. She left school at 15 to work at her father’s company and is an active member in her community supporting charities.

TruckSafe-accredited companies Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage, Bullbuck and Nicol Echunga Transport will compete for the John Kelly Memorial Award, which recognises excellence in the TruckSafe program.

The ATA says all companies have a strong commitment to safety and training.

Meanwhile, Seymour Passenger Services have been named in the Training Excellence Award category.

Seymour will face off with those behind the Women Take the Wheel Program, which aims to give women an entry into the trucking industry.

"The pilot project trained 19 women to receive their HR licence. Nine of the participants then went on to complete a Certificate III in Transport and Logistics (Driving Operations) with JJ Richards & Sons and now work for the company," the ATA says.

The program is a partnership between between JJ Richards & Sons, Mission Australia, Strategix Training Group and Queensland Transport and Main Roads.

Seymour, which is a Victorian-based bus and coach operator, has been recognised for its training and induction courses and for running Certificate III traineeships in heavy bus operations for its drivers.

"By improving the skills of their drivers and supporting better training throughout the bus industry, Seymour Passenger Services has increased safety for everyone who uses the roads," the ATA says.

The awards will be held as part of the Australian Trucking Convention later this month.

Correction: ATN originally stated DECA Training was nominated for the Training Excellence Award for the Women Take the Wheel Program. This is incorrect. The program is run by JJ Richards & Sons, Mission Australia, Strategix Training Group and Queensland Transport and Main Roads. DECA is sponsoring the award.

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