Linfox in running for transport awards

Two Linfox employees have been named as finalists at this year’s National Trucking Industry Awards

May 20, 2013

Linfox is in the running to take home two top transport awards at this year’s National Trucking Industry Awards.

The company’s fleet manager of special projects in Melbourne, Mick Best, has been nominated for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry, while company driver Gary Deane-Spread will vie for the National Professional Driver of the Year gong.

Best has been a fixture of the industry for more than 45 years and has worked as a driver, driver trainer and manager in that time. Deane-Spread entered the industry as an owner-driver in 1972, started Killara Road Freight two years later and then sold it to Key Transport in 1989.

He continued to work as an owner-driver until joining the Linfox family in 2011. Deane-Spread is estimated to have tallied five million kilometres of accident-free driving between 1972 and 2012.

Best will go up against Tatiara Truck & Trailers owner John Jenkin and Johnstons Transport General Manager Mike Moylan. Robert Schalkwyk of EnergyTrans and Barry Grimson of Unanderra Tanker Hire are also in the running for Professional Driver of the Year.

Run by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), the National Trucking Industry Awards will also crown the 2013 Trucking Industry Woman of the Year.

Tracie Dickenson from Daryl Dickenson Transport, Sharon Middleton from Whiteline Transport and Melanie Cosgrove have all been nominated.

"The finalists for the individual awards have all shown outstanding dedication and commitment to our industry and the community," ATA Chairman David Simon says.

Jenkin began his business after completing his apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic. Inducted in the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in 2010, Jenkin employs 55 staff and was named the Australia Day Tatiara Citizen of the Year in 2009.

Along with his role at Johnstons Transport, Moylan has been a well-known and respected industry advocate for many years through his involvement with the New South Wales branch of the ATA. He has been at forefront of efforts to improve truck turnaround times in and around Port Botany and received the Outstanding Contribution Award in 2012 from the ATA NSW.

Schalkwyk has spent more than 40 years behind the wheel of a truck since obtaining his licence at the age of 16. The ATA says he has never had an accident and has earned a reputation as a highly reliable, cheerful and immaculately presented driver. He received the Queensland Trucking Association Professional Driver of the Year Award in 2012.

Known affectionately as ‘Sleepy’ and the ‘Drivers’ Advocate’ by his peers, Grimson is dedicated to improving conditions for his fellow drivers, was involved in the initial stages of the construction of the Australian Truck Drivers’ Memorial Wall at Tarcutta and has taken part in many Camp Quality Convoys for Kids.

Tracie and her partner Daryl have turned Daryl Dickenson Transport from a one-truck operation to a business that runs 37 trucks and 62 trailers out of Loganlea in Queensland. Tracie looks after workplace health and safety and provides 20-week work placement opportunities with the company to promote the transport industry as a career for young people.

Also Queensland based, Cosgrove is the fleet and compliance manager for SRV Road freight and is a director of industry group NatRoad.

Middleton has partnered with her husband Bob to take Whiteline Transport from a business with three trucks to one that operates depots in Adelaide, Cavan, Perth and Berri. Middleton is also the president of the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) and has used her position to push for improved access and operating conditions for the industry. Middleton is the co-founder of Foundation Shine, which raises funds to address mental health issues.

"Meanwhile, the finalists for the TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award are some of the best and safest trucking businesses in Australia," Simon says.

Announced previously, the nominees for the award are De Gunst Transport, G&S Transport and South West Freight. The award is designed to recognise excellence in the TruckSafe program.

The award winners will be announced at the Trucking Australia 2013 conference next month. The finalists were selected by a committee of judges led by former ATA Chairman Trevor Martyn.

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