The Australian Trucking Association has honoured Australia’s top truck driver and other leading industry figures in the 2013 National Trucking Industry Awards.
The awards were presented at the ATA Foundation Sponsors Gala Awards Dinner on Hamilton Island last Friday.
The 2013 National Trucking Industry Award winners are:
Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry
Mike Moylan – Johnstons Transport, Sydney, NSW
National Professional Driver of the Year
Robert Schalkwyk – EnergyTrans, Garbutt, QLD
National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year
Sharon Middleton – Whiteline Transport, Greenfields, SA
TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award for excellence in the TruckSafe program
De Gunst Transport – Bundaberg, QLD
Don Watson Memorial Award for conspicuous achievement in furthering the industry’s objectives
Simon Skazlic – K&S Freighters, Truganina, VIC
The National Professional Driver of the Year, Robert Schalkwyk, has spent more than 40 years as a professional heavy vehicle driver and has never had an accident in his vehicle.
“Never in my wildest dreams had I expected to be standing in front of you,” Mr Schalkwyk said.
The Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry Award went to Mike Moylan of Johnstons Transport. Mr Moylan is also the Chairman of the ATA NSW Container Section Committee, and is credited with reducing the average truck turnaround time at Port Botany to 30 minutes.
“The queues used to be four or five kilometres long. We’ve kept the pressure on and through everyone’s hard work we got results,” he said.
The winner of the National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year Award, Sharon Middleton, has been in the road transport industry for 30 years. In partnership with her husband, Bob, she has expanded their business from three trucks and a typewriter to one with depots in Adelaide, Cavan, Perth and Berri. She is also the President of the South Australian Road Transport Association.
Ms Middleton congratulated the other finalists for the award and its previous winners.
“I’m standing in some pretty amazing footsteps,” she said.
The TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award went to De Gunst Transport from Bundaberg, Queensland. De Gunst Transport began as a single truck operation in 1984. Today, its fleet includes 60 prime movers and 140 trailers, along with a range of earthmoving plant and equipment.
Bob De Gunst said he joined TruckSafe after his company started to expand.
“I asked ‘how can I control this to make sure the maintenance and safety are there?’ And that’s how I joined TruckSafe,” he said.
The winner of the Don Watson Memorial Award, Simon Skazlic, led the development of best practice guidelines to prevent accidents while trucks are loaded and unloaded. Thousands of businesses have downloaded the guidelines.
Mr Skazlic said he was surprised, humbled and stoked.
“I think it’s important to give back to an industry that needs so much, yet has so much,” he said.