Safety conscious truckie takes home top honours

Hardy’s Haulage truck driver wins National Professional Driver of the Year Award

Safety conscious truckie takes home top honours
Left to right: Brian 'Spud' Murphy, Tom Scotney, Tim Wedlock, Lynne Jack, Toll manager Geoff Massey and David Simon.


A safety-conscious truck driver with millions of incident-free kilometres to his name has been recognised with this year’s National Professional Driver of the Year Award.

Tom Scotney from Queensland-based trucking company Hardy’s Haulage received the gong at this year’s National Trucking Industry Awards, which honoured some of the industry’s leading individuals and companies with awards across six categories. 

Scotney has travelled more than 6.3 million kilometres without receiving a fine in the last 10 years. 

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA), which runs the awards, says Scotney is known for encouraging those around him to adopt safer work practices and is not afraid to pull someone up if he sees them working in an unsafe manner.

"I feel privileged to receive this award and I hope to be a worthy ambassador for the transport industry," says Scotney, who last year was named NatRoad’s Professional Driver of the Year. 

Upon receiving the award, Scotney thanked wife Dianne for her 33 years of support and says he is "very proud" to be representing the industry he loves. 

Former ATA chairman David Simon walked away with the Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry for his services to the sector. 

Simon is a director of the Queensland Trucking Association and since 2003 has been on the board of the ATA where he served two terms as its chairman.

He represented the industry's position on national heavy vehicle regulations and heavy vehicle charging reforms during his tenure as ATA chairman. 

The owner of Volvo dealership Griffin Motors, Lynne Jack, won the Industry Woman of the Year Award.

Jack is a founding member of the Newcastle and Hunter Road Transport Awareness Day.

Well-known Northern Territory tanker operation Directhaul received the TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award for its dedication to customer service and safety. 

"I’d like to thank my people and my management for understanding the importance and the value you get out of maintenance," fleet manager Brian ‘Spud’ Murphy says.

Meanwhile, Toll Mining Services in Western Australia took home the National Training Excellence Award for implementing a number of safety initiatives, including providing extensive driver training, following a safety review in 2012.

Employees have received defensive driver training, while trucks are being fitted with electronic brake systems (EBS), anti-lock brake systems (ABS), mobile tracking devices and 90km/h speed limiters to prevent rollovers. 

Toll is also planning to fit sensors to trucks in the next six months to detect driver fatigue. 

Toll general manager of compliance Phillip Crook says Toll Mining Services has achieved very high safety levels with ease. 

"We place very high standards on them, particularly in regards to safety. It doesn’t come at a small price, $25,000 - $30,000 per truck, and that makes them amongst the safest trucks in our fleet," Crook says.

The managing director of Austbrokers AEI Transport Insurance Brokers, Tim Wedlock, received the Don Watson Memorial Award for his 27 years of experience in providing insurance services to the transport and logistics industry. 

"He is a strong supporter of the industry and advocates improving industry safety through risk management procedures, particularly the TruckSafe accreditation program," the ATA says.

Austbrokers AEI Transport Insurance Brokers has sponsored the John Kelly Memorial Award since its inception in 2011.

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