If there is one thing we can see every day in our industry, it is how people have a genuine passion for their job, or their truck. It’s difficult to work out where this passion might come from, and the people who are passionate about their job will also give you chapter and verse of everything that is wrong with the industry.
These are the people who will not leave the industry, or if they do, they always seem to reappear some time later. It’s difficult to find passion for a new industry once you’ve already fallen in love with another.
It’s also great to see the kind of passion we are talking about rewarded by the industry, but this is what has happened this week, with the presentations at the Castrol Vecton Awards Dinner, as part of the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) Technical and Maintenance Conference (TMC) in Melbourne this week.
Les Brusza is a regulator, he is part of something which is traditionally seen as the enemy by the truck on the road. It would be difficult to find anyone working for any trucking regulator in Australia who is so well-liked by the folks in the trucking industry. The awarding of the Industry Achievement Award to him this week was well deserved.
The nomination lists his achievements during his time with what is now called Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in Queensland and later with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) as Chief Engineer. He is a major part of the reason we now have a fast-growing Performance-Based Standards–approved fleet of trucks plying its trade on our roads.
However, it’s not his achievements which have made him such a well-known and respected character in this peculiar little niche as a heavy road transport engineer and regulator. The aspect which has gained Les the respect of his peers is his sheer passion for doing the right thing, giving the trucking industry the opportunity to make major leaps forward in productivity and safety. He just loves his trucks.
All we need to do is work out how to tap into this kind of passion and engender it in others we need to attract to the trucking game. We do need to make it attractive to come into trucking and create an atmosphere in the industry where passion for all things trucking can grow and take the industry forward into a very fast-changing environment in the coming years.
It’s not really a matter of if we get it right, we have to get it right. The freight task is going to grow fast and get ever more complicated and sophisticated. The old paradigms are not going to serve us well into the future with massive volumes moving around the country at an increasing rate.
To get it right we will need the right people and those people need to learn from some of those involved in the industry today. They won’t need to learn how they used to do things and how they do things today, they will need to be infected with the real passion for trucks and trucking and then go on to develop their own ideas on how things should be done.
They will need to use their own passion for our industry to make it capable of coping with the challenge ahead. So, the answer is simple, just get the right young people into the industry, get them motivated and passionate about trucking and then let them at it. Easier said than done!