HVIA Awards Celebrate Achievers And Achievements

Held last Friday night, the 2023 HVIA National Awards were a fitting celebration of the some of the heavy vehicle industry’s great achievers and achievements of the past 12 months

More than 200 people attended the prestigious 2023 HVIA National Awards Gala Dinner last Friday night to celebrate the heavy vehicle industry’s innovators, innovations and leaders, both current and emerging.

The gala event, which was held at the home of the Brisbane Truck Show, the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, attracted a cross-section of industry figures, from key decision makers to an impressive number of up-and-coming young apprentices and future industry leaders.

Also in attendance were key government representatives, including Senator Bridget McKenzie, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development; Scott Buchholz, the Federal Member for Wright; and Steve Minnikin, the State Member for Chatsworth and Shadow Minister for Transport and Main Roads.

HVIA Chief Executive Officer Todd says the event was a fitting celebration of the some of the heavy vehicle industry’s great achievers and achievements of the past 12 months.

“Every year we’re honoured to witness more of our members’ extraordinary innovation and ingenuity being revealed,” he says. “That is along with the joy it brings us to recognise some amazing young industry people at the start of what we expect to be a long and fulfilling career in the heavy industry.”

Winners were announced in five categories: National Apprentice of the Year; Peter Langworthy Future Leader; Community Leadership; Product Innovation; and Safety Innovation.

Product Innovation Award (Sponsored by NTI)

The Drake Group subsidiary O’Phee Trailers took out the Product Innovation Award for its revolutionary ‘London’ Container Double Stack Super B Double SKEL Trailer Combination.

Equipped with an Australian-compliant load restraint system, this world-first trailer combination can carry up to eight empty 20-foot containers at a time or four 40-foot containers – boosting productivity by 100 per cent over current existing Super B Double combinations in a single journey.

Inspired by the iconic red double-decker buses of London, the ground-breaking trailer design also delivers significant cost savings through reduced loading and unloading time, fuel, maintenance, insurance, registration, and labour costs.

And by reducing the number of vehicle movements to transport containers, ‘London’ also improves safety for the driver and road users whilst ultimately helping reduce emissions. Further boosting safety, loading can be completed without the need for the driver to leave the cab.

Officially launched in July 2023, the innovative design came about following discussions between O’Phee Trailers and customer Qube about ways to improve the productivity and efficiency of moving many containers.

During the design phase, the vehicle was subject to regulatory and independent safety and operational assessments, including the NHVR’s Performance Based Standards (PBS) framework. Once constructed, the vehicle was subject to further safety tests and assessments including physical tilt tests and desktop assessments relating to its stability.

‘London’ is currently restricted to approved routes within the Port of Brisbane. However, O’Phee Trailers has had solid enquires from other operators and ports domestically and internationally that are interested in adopting the high-productivity trailer.

Lucidity Australia – Fuel Tanker Overfill Probe Junction Box
Base Air Global – Base Air Air Suspension System
Carmate Electronics – Mata7S Multi-Trailer TPMS
PT Blueboys – Coupling Connection Covers

Safety Innovation Award (Sponsored by GEOTAB)

Taking out the Safety Innovation Award was Yatala-based Base Air Global for its  Base Air pressure-control system.

This innovation solution allows vehicles to operate between single- and dual-circuit air suspension as required, reducing vibration and improving load-share, freight damage, tyre-wear, fuel consumption, and Electronic Brake System (EBS) intervention.

Installed into a vehicle’s existing air suspension, the system uses two custom height control valves (HCVs), one dual-pressure protection valve (DPPV), and air lines of equal length and diameter, are combined with unique ‘Crossflow’ technology.

The HCVs split a vehicle’s total number of air springs into two sets – one left and one right. Both sides are then connected, via a single ‘Crossflow’ line. Special ports within each HCV manage airflow through this line, in response to a vehicle’s environment. On level ground, these ports are open, and the system operates as one circuit, with air evenly managed across both sets of springs.

However, if the vehicle leans more than 1.5 degrees left or right, these ports close, isolating the air either side. This creates two circuits, enabling the HCVs to determine what pressure is best for their respective set of springs.

Importantly, once the vehicle returns to level ground, the ‘Crossflow’ reactivates, allowing air pressure in both sets of springs to equalise.

The system is currently installed on prime movers, trailers, dollies, coaches, caravans, agricultural vehicles, and select SUVs.

Scully RSV – Scully RSV Pre-Start Inspection
Magnum Australia – Magnum Portable Fire-Fighting Module
National Transport Insurance – NTARC National Truck Accident Research Centre
SGESCO-MAX – MAX-SAFE SideView Pedestrian Protection Safety Solution
Carmate Electronics – Mata7S Multi-Trailer TPMS

Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Wurth)

When you have managers, customers, and Queensland TAFE (Acacia Ridge campus) singing the praises of your apprentice you know that you are dealing with someone special.

It was not surprisingly, therefore, that Penske Australia’s Brayden Conaghan was awarded the national Apprentice of the Year gong.

Brayden has a strong passion for the industry, and this became clear at the Brisbane Truck Show this year when he and a fellow apprentice won the Apprentice Challenge in record time and being the only team ever to find the mystery fault.

One of the most impressive attributes of Brayden is his integrity. He takes ownership of any request handed to him and steps up in times of need at a moment’s notice.

Brayden is a fantastic team player and knows the importance of teamwork in any environment. He cares for his fellow work mates, customers, and the business.

Not only did Brayden challenge himself in completing his apprenticeship ahead of schedule he also tested himself in obtaining his recreational pilot’s licence at the same time.

Brayden consistently demonstrates the highest level of technical aptitude in all aspects of the workplace, evidenced through the early completion of his apprenticeship and ability to work self-sufficiently and accurately on jobs. In addition, his ability to work under pressure is also notable.

What’s more, Brayden’s ability to communicate and interact with members of his team at Penske has always been at the highest of standards. Great communication and interaction skills have become a crucial part in his tool kit as he is now in a field service role.

Since completing his apprenticeship, Brayden plans to continue to learn and gain as much experience in his current role before progressing into a leadership role such as a leading hand or supervisor position.

Paris Maw – CMV Truck & Bus Albury Wodonga
Riley Watterson – Trucks on the Run
Ziyaz Unus – Iveco Group
Hayden Norup – Robuk Engineering
Joshua Wells – Royans Brisbane
Todd Shalders – CMV Truck & Bus

Peter Langworthy Future Leaders Award (Sponsored by Langworthy Family)

Award winner Jason Cooper started his heavy vehicle mechanical apprenticeship in 2013 with Brown and Hurley and in after-hours engaged in breakdown work as well as completing various Paccar technician training courses.

Once he completed his apprenticeship he continued attending training courses which earned him master technician status. In 2019 Jason was promoted to leading hand where he manages the afternoon shift on a rotation basis.

In 2020 Jason attended the Paccar Technician of the Year Awards as one of five finalists, finishing third in his first attempt. In 2021 he finished first, backing up his win with a second in 2022 and first in 2023.

In 2022 Jason attended the Brown and Hurley Future Leaders Program presented by the AIM Institute of QLD. He has since demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and mentoring of staff, including initiating training sessions and workshops for other mechanics to improve their technical skills. Jason has also implemented a system where mechanics have more autonomy in decision-making for routine repairs, boosting their confidence and morale.

Jason epitomises the essence of the Peter Langworthy Award with his unwavering commitment to leadership, both within his organisation and the wider industry.

His long-term career goal is to eventually run a dealership in a dealer principal role.

Community Leadership Award (Sponsored by Caltex)

Award winner Scully RSV this year proactively prioritised community leadership, commencing with its partnership with TIACS (This Is A Conversation Starter), a charity created to spread the message of mental health support for blue-collar and rural communities.

In November 2022, Scully RSV contacted food rescue charity, OzHarvest, offering vehicle support over the Christmas period. What began as a simple donation of refrigerated vehicles, grew to a formalised corporate partnership in August of this year.

To further deepen community leadership, Scully RSV saw an opportunity to better service those from the Punjabi, Hindu and Urdu-speaking communities. A campaign was launched showcasing the team who speak these languages with sections of the Scully website in Punjabi, Hindu and Urdu. The site directs enquiries to the relevant team member in that language.

What’s more, in April 2023 Scully RSV Chief Executive Officer Andrew McKenzie participated in a charity walk of the Larapinta Trail raising funds for parent company Redwood North’s charity, Melanoma Patients Australia. Andrew raised the highest amount across the group and was awarded the right to nominate the next charity partner and fundraising initiative, which in 2024 will be TIACS.

Scully RSV also supports Fruit2Work, a social enterprise.

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