The HVIA National Apprentice Challenge was hotly contested during the Brisbane Truck Show, with the team representing the southern region taking out the title.
Fourth-year apprentice Luke Kneebone from Webster Trucks, Tasmania, and third-year apprentice Samual Allan from Ballarat Isuzu won the title after taking part in a series of heats and winning the final.
Three teams took part in the competition: the southern region team represented Victoria, SA and Tasmania; the north-western region team represented WA and NT (placing second); and the eastern region team which comprised Queensland, NSW and ACT (placing third).
Each regional team had to work on one of two identical Isuzu FX-series prime movers to identify and rectify a series of programmed faults as the clock ticks; with the team that was the quickest to successfully identify and repair all the faults, or the most faults in the timeframe, declared the winner.
On the first day of competition, the eastern team’s Shaneet Singh and Jack Dennis took on the north-western team’s Bekitemba Gwebu and Beau Smith. Pulling away early after quickly identifying a number of the pre-programmed faults, the eastern team got to the halfway mark in the lead. In the second half of the 45-minute challenge however, the western team found their form to draw level when time was up. Both teams found seven faults out of the nine.
The southern region team first took to the stage on day two, going head-to-head with the north-western team. Both teams were neck and neck with five minutes to go. The north-western team then jumped ahead, repairing all nine faults with two minutes to spare, securing its place in the final.
On day three, the southern team took on the eastern team – competing for the last place in the final. At the end of the session, there was only one point separating the two teams.
During the final, the southern team took on the north-western team. Both teams gave it their all, and at the end of the 60 minute final, there was only one point separating the two teams, with no penalty points awarded to either.
The southern team’s Kneebone and Allan finished on top and were presented with the 2021 HVIA National Apprentice Challenge trophy.