One of the trucking industry stalwarts of the last thirty plus years received the recognition he deserves, from his peers, when he was presented with the Heavy Vehicle Innovator gong at the Castrol Vecton Awards dinner as part of the TMC in Melbourne. The Award, first presented in 2013, is awarded to someone who develops designs or procedures to improve the whole industry’s safety, efficiency or productivity.
“Bob has been involved in the road freight industry since the early 1970s,” said Chairman of the Judging panel, Trevor Martyn. “He was involved in the design of the first Queensland B-double in 1985, developed the concept of the tandem/ tri-axle B-double in 1988, and had significant input into the design of the 19 metre B-double. Bob is one of those people who brings a balance of technical and practical experience to every forum and project he is involved with.”
Upon receiving the award Woodward behaved in his usual affable and humble way and seemed lost for words when handed the trophy, in a ceremony held at the end of the second day of the ATA/ARTSA 2014 Paccar and Dealer Technical and Maintenance Conference.
“What can I say?” said Woodward. “I’ve had a bit of a dabble in all forms of transport, but the trucking industry has fed me and my family for many years. I’ve had a lot of fun, there’s no doubt about that.”
After a long association with Finemore’s and a period as a Technical Advisor to the ATA, Woodward now works as a consultant under the name Barkwood Consulting.
Another technical award went to a current Finemore employee, when the Craig Roseneder Award for Technical and Maintenance Excellence in the Workshop went to Glenn Griffiths, Fleet Maintenance Manager for Ron Finemore Transport. The award is presented annually and aims to recognise exceptional skill and dedication in Australia’s professional workshop personnel, with particular focus on innovation, mentoring and industry involvement.
In his citation Martin Toomey, Deputy Chairman of ARTSA, said Griffiths is responsible for developing maintenance programs and delivering them to a fleet of 250 prime movers and 450 trailers.
“Glenn continually challenges the safety status quo, developing new equipment such as fifth wheel coupling aids and non-slip access ladder covers to reduce driver injury rates,” said Toomey said. “He is dedicated to training the younger generation, with four apprentices currently learning the trade under his guidance.”
Griffiths was also humble in his speech after receiving the award, emphasising the team effort involved in achieving the outcomes for which the award is given.
“Although I accept this award myself, it’s a real team effort,” said Griffiths. “From the skilled breakdown guys at night to the apprentices learning the trade, they all help keep the fleet safe. We have a strong safety culture and a great record. We know that more than 500 people need to come to work and go home safely at night.”
With Bob Pearson receiving the first innovation award in 2013, followed by the presentation to Bob Woodward this week, the search is on for another ‘Bob’ to get the gong in 2015!