Award Finalists Announced

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The Australian Trucking Association has announced the finalists for its 2015 Craig Roseneder Award. The award recognises technical and maintenance excellence in the workshop by an individual. It is named in honour of the late Craig Roseneder, a strong campaigner for the development of a safer road transport industry.


Past winner, John Schultz, receiving his Craig Roseneder Award in 2012



The 2015 Craig Roseneder finalists are:


Christopher Knijff works for the Easter Group in Wacol, QLD as the Workshop Manager. A strong advocate of preventative maintenance, Chris worked with OEMs to redevelop Easter Group’s servicing schedules to improve efficiency and safety, as well as introducing a new brake testing and shaker regime to ensure Easter Group is in line with industry best practice.



He also implemented new projects to create a safer work environment for all Easter’s staff, including a gate hanger policy to reduce the risk of falls and redesigning the workshop to improve work flow and reduce potential hazards. Chris is a passionate advocate of the GenR8 youth training program, and as a result Easter Group has this year offered two full-time apprenticeships to GenR8 students. Not content with just training others, Chris is also continuing to develop his own skills by studying for his Cert IV in Frontline Management.



Damien Allison from De Bruyn’s Transport in Burnie, TAS is the second finalist. He started as an apprentice with De Bruyn’s Transport more than 20 years ago and has risen through the ranks to be promoted to Maintenance Manager in 2005. He is responsible for all maintenance to the diverse De Bruyn’s fleet, which includes 113 powered vehicles, 130 trailers, forklifts, light vehicles and a 500 tonne capacity fish feed supply vessel.



Damien has worked diligently to introduce standardisation and improved procedures within the fleet, and has implemented a number of safe work measures within the workshop to reduce incident and injury rates. He is a strong supporter of the apprenticeship program, and many of his apprentices choose to stay with De Bruyn’s after finishing their training. Under his stewardship, 12 warehousing trainees and 14 workshop apprentices have completed their qualifications, with many also excelling in the National World Skills competition. Damien is an active member of his local community, gaining life membership to Apex Australia in 2012.



The third finalist is John McKnight, who works for Blenners Transport in South Mission Beach, QLD. Starting out as a heavy vehicle mechanic with the Royal Australian Air Force, John has made his home in North Queensland and is now the Fleet Maintenance Manager for Blenners Transport.



When he arrived at Blenners, John noted that multiple, incompatible systems were being used to record maintenance items, reducing maintenance effectiveness and fidelity. John implemented a new business-wide maintenance management system to improve maintenance reporting and consistency, and also developed a predictive process to move the Blenners’ workshop from a reactive to a proactive approach to maintenance.



He is dedicated to improving safety in the workplace and on the road, and has developed new safety checks and procedures to ensure Blenners’ quality of maintenance and staff safety are put first at all times. John also promotes environmentally friendly initiatives in the workshop, including substituting wash bay chemicals for environmentally friendly alternatives and fitting oil capture units fleet-wide.



“The judging panel said the overall standard of this year’s nominations was the highest they could remember seeing, which is very high praise indeed,” said Noelene Watson, ATA Chair. “As an industry, we are very fortunate to have such dedicated, skilled professionals going the extra mile to put safety and preventative maintenance first. I’d like to congratulate all our finalists on their achievement, and I look forward to meeting them in person in October.”



The winner will be announced at the Castrol Vecton Awards Dinner on October 27 as part of the 2015 PACCAR and Dealer TMC. Courtesy of award sponsor Castrol Vecton, the winner will receive a trip to the American Trucking Associations’ 2016 Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee and $1,500 AUD in spending money.