Awards, News

National Trucking Industry Award finalists revealed

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has today announced the finalists for the 2024 National Trucking Industry Awards.

“These prestigious awards recognise the businesses and individuals who go above and beyond to contribute to the industry and improve their workplaces,” said ATA chair David Smith.

“All the finalists across our awards have demonstrated exceptional dedication to Australian trucking through their dedication and hard work.”

The award winners will be announced at the ATA Foundation Sponsors Gala Awards Dinner, to be held in Canberra on April 19 as part of Trucking Australia 2024. The Don Watson Memorial Award will also be presented on the night.

“I invite everyone in the industry to join us in Canberra as we celebrate the achievements of our industry, our finalists and our well-deserved award winners,” Smith said.

The 2024 National Trucking Industry Award finalists are:

Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry

Bill Manton, Simon National Carriers
Bill Manton is the national training manager for Simon National Carriers, but his career in the trucking industry goes back to 1982. Since then, he has worked as a truck driver, manager and trainer, including for Volvo Group Australia.

Throughout his career, he has worked to promote careers in the industry, higher standards and road safety. In 2017, he had a vital role in reviewing the Queensland TAFE system’s road transport training packages. Manton also worked closely with Austroads on its review of the National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework.

In the 1990s, Manton participated in the ATA’s Road Safety Awareness Week campaigns. He has supported the industry’s safety promotions ever since and helped raise awareness of driving best practices, including to groups such as occupational medicine doctors.

Michael Swart, Wildman River Stock Contractors
Michael Swart is a director of Wildman River Stock Contractors, named after the property where Michael and his twin brother Jeffrey grew up.

Swart has been the acting president, then later president, of the Northern Territory Road Transport Association since 2013. As NTRTA president, he has worked on diverse issues including the Heavy Vehicle National Law, truck safety programs, road user charging and cross border remote area livestock trials. Most notably, he has provided practical advice to the NT Government on its road infrastructure priorities.

Swart was also extremely hands-on in the design of the road train assembly area at Truck Central.

National Professional Driver of the Year

Jay Reed, Harvey’s Towing Service
Jay Reed is a heavy vehicle tow truck operator for Harvey’s Towing Service, working with the business for over 10 years.

Reed demonstrates integrity, honesty and hard work; showing care for his team mates and mentors other drivers within the business.

He is a member of the company’s safety committee and is active in identifying and mitigating potential hazards on- and off-site.

Reed is passionate about participating in events such as the Lights on the Hill Convoy and the Brisbane Truck Convoy and takes on the voluntary responsibility of ensuring the company’s vehicles are exhibited in pristine condition.

Joshua Ulbrich, Ross Transport
Joshua Ulbrich, a multi-combination truck driver for Ross Transport. He started his career as a MC driver and driving instructor in the army, which shaped him into a person of exceptional discipline and professionalism – as is shown by his meticulous presentation of Ross Transport’s 2017 limited edition pink Kenworth T909.

Ulbrich has an excellent driving record and is always willing to help fellow drivers and the public. Whether it’s helping with a breakdown, showing a new driver how to tarp or ensuring paperwork is in perfect order, his attitude and expertise contribute to smoother operations and a positive work environment.

He is also a volunteer committee member of ‘Truckies against Bullying,’ which was created by a truck driver and his wife who chose to take a stand against bullying in schools and workplaces.

National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year

Jenny Fellows, Fellows Bulk Transport

Jenny Fellows is administration manager for Fellows Bulk Transport. As co-owner of Fellows Bulk Transport with her husband, Paul, Jenny has more than 25 years of industry experience, which she shares as a mentor in Transport Women Australia’s mentoring program.

Jenny established the Deniliquin Driver Education Program in 2006. It is now a week long course that teaches school students how to share the road safely and has expanded from Deniliquin to outlying schools.

In 2020, Jenny’s driver education program won the Australian Road Safety Foundation’s School Programs Award, part of the Australian Road Safety Awards.

Michelle Harwood, Tasmanian Transport Association
Michelle Harwood has been the executive director of the Tasmanian Transport Association since 2017, after devoting her career almost exclusively to the transport and logistics industry with a focus on trucking and workforce development.

Under her leadership, the TTA has developed well-supported initiatives including its Open Road health and wellbeing program and its Drive Your Future workforce campaign.

Harwood has been a member of the Tasmanian Transport and Logistics Workforce Advisory Group since 2011 and was its chair from 2017-2023. She has been a member of the Tasmanian Road Safety Advisory Council since 2017 and the ATA’s nominee on the national Heavy Vehicle Rest Areas Steering Committee since 2023.

National Training Excellence Award

Frasers Livestock Transport
Established in 1944 by Charlie and Edna Fraser, Frasers Livestock Transport is a proud third generation family business. Based in Warwick, Queensland, Frasers specialises in the transport of live cattle, sheep and pigs across the eastern seaboard of Australia and beyond.

There is no Australia-wide training standard for the livestock transport sector, so the company designed its own course for the industry to use. The QTA co-ordinates the course program.

Since 2020, ten workshops have been held across the state for more than 200 participants. More than 90 per cent of the participants said that the skills and knowledge they gained from the course would enable them to do their jobs more safely and efficiently.

South East Queensland Hauliers
South East Queensland Hauliers (SEQH) was established in the 1960s. The company works closely with its customers, in particular freight forwarders and customs brokers, to import and export shipping containers and break bulk freight.

In 2023, SEQH introduced its comprehensive training program, Road Masters, which includes assessments for new drivers, upskill training, incident training and upgrading employees’ licences from HC to MC.

The program has had a significant positive impact on SEQH’s workforce, fostering skilled, competent and safety conscious drivers. The program has also increased the utilisation of SEQH’s fleet.

Brown and Hurley Group
The Brown and Hurley Group has been in business since 1946 and has always been a family-owned and operated business committed to the road transport industry.

Brown and Hurley started its award winning training program at branch level in 2010 and set up its standalone training centre in 2012. There are currently 228 participants enrolled in the program.

The training program has increased the productivity of Brown and Hurley’s technicians, who have consistently placed in the top three in PACCAR’s Technician of the Year competitions.

Brown and Hurley is a previous winner of the National Training Excellence Award, in 2018, and won the PACCAR training award in 2019.

2024 TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award

Marley’s Transport
Marley’s Transport started in the small country town of Nangeenan back in 1969 when Frank bought his first truck; an old Commer, before he was even old enough to drive.

From those early days with one truck carting fertiliser from the Nangeenan railhead to farmers, Marley’s has expanded to a fleet of 70 trucks carting grain, fertiliser, lime, livestock, raw materials and finished animal feed as well as operating an intermediate warehouse facility at its modern depot at Hope Valley.

Marley’s embarked on their TruckSafe journey in 1999 to improve their safety and documentation standards.

Monson Logistics
Monson Logistics offers a comprehensive intrastate, interstate and international freight and logistics service to and from Tasmania.

It is part of a Tasmanian owned and operated family company that had its beginnings in 1992, when Bruce and Toni Monson opened a ships’ agency in Burnie. They employed their first staff member in 1997 and the company has continued to expand ever since.

With the additions of offices in Melbourne, Hobart and Bell Bay, the company now employs more than 90 staff.

The company operates a fleet of 55 prime movers with numerous trailer types and combinations, including B-double skels, flat-tops, tautliners and side-loaders.

Monson Logistics has been a TruckSafe member since 2017.

Sawtell and Sons
Currumbin-based bulk hauliers Sawtell and Sons was founded in 1933 with the family business now spanning four generations. The business has grown from two trucks to a fleet numbering more than 50.

Sawtell and Sons performs a combination of local and interstate work. The local fleet transports sand, gravel and fertiliser, with the interstate fleet covering most of the eastern seaboard transporting potatoes and fertiliser on long haul routes from South Australia to far north Queensland.

Sawtell and Sons has been a TruckSafe member since 2001.

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