Technicians’ Award Nominees

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The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has announced the three finalists for the 2017 Craig Roseneder Award, which recognises technical and maintenance excellence in the trucking industry’s workshops.

The judging panel selected Dale Hedley (Vellex, New South Wales), Chris Blanchard (Herb Blanchard Haulage, New South Wales) and Mark Collins (Frasers Livestock Transport, Queensland)for their technical skill, aptitude and dedication to the industry.

“Since 1998 the ATA has recognised the unsung heroes who keep Australia’s trucks on the road,” said Geoff Crouch, ATA Chair.“There are no finer examples than our three 2017 finalists. They are all role models, outstanding in their field and demonstrating high levels of safety, expertise and professionalism.”

Nominations for the award must come from industry peers or employers. The award is open to any individual who works full time in the Australian trucking industry for a trucking company, supplier or commercial workshop as a workshop manager or mechanic, or provides support within the maintenance field for heavy vehicles.

This year’s winner will receive a fully paid trip to Atlanta to attend the US Technology and Maintenance Council’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition, plus $1,500 spending money. Complimentary registration to the 2018 ATA/ARTSA Technical and Maintenance Conference is also included.

The winner will be announced on 17 October at the Castrol Vecton Awards Dinner, part of the ATA/ARTSA Technical and Maintenance Conference, which runs from 16 to 18 October.


2017 CraigRoseneder Award finalists

Chris BlanchardHerb Blanchard Haulage, Grafton New South Wales

In 1955, Herb and Noreen Blanchard began a business with one truck to haul fish to the Brisbane markets. Today, the business has 23 vehicles and 30 staff, and moves products across the east coast of Australia.

Herb’s son Chris has been an innovator since he joined the business and is described by his colleagues as a big thinker. He completed an automotive apprenticeship at the local Holden dealership and left TAFE in 1993 – with the title ‘Apprentice of the Year’ – to join the family business.

Since then, he has set many standards for the business and industry, including incorporating electronic braking systems (EBS) and stability control technology to the company’s trailer fleet, implementing TruckSafe, and ensuring drivers have access to the tools they need to make them compliant and safe on the roads.

He is dedicated to professional standards, client and supplier relationships, coaching, mentoring and training, and to supporting industry and the local community.


Dale Hedley – Vellex, Wetherill Park, New South Wales

Dale joined the Vellex team in 2014 and manages the company’s fleet maintenance nationally. He also looks after safety, compliance and the company’s TruckSafe and National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) accreditations.

Dale halved defects across the Vellex fleet by implementing a Vellex-owned brake and shaker testing machine, with tests conducted monthly or quarterly depending on the distance travelled.

Dale also designed and implemented a Vellex patented two-buckle curtain system to reduce repetitive strain injuries amongst the Vellex operational staff.

Dale is a willing mentor and encourages everyone in the Vellex team to keep developing their skills. He is committed to continuous improvement, and manages and motivates a team of mechanics and maintenance staff to ensure the safety and efficiency of the fleet.


Mark Collins – Frasers Livestock Transport, Warwick, Queensland

Frasers Livestock operates throughout Queensland and has depots in Warwick, Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Roma and Rockhampton. The company has transported livestock since 1944 and has a reputation for long-standing employees and timely, efficient service.

Fleet manager Mark Collins has been a dedicated and enthusiastic employee for 32 years, and manages staff across all aspects of the business.

Mark started working with the Frasers team as a mechanic in 1984. In November 1990, after a stint as a full-time MC driver, Mark took on the responsibility of running the company’s new workshop in Warwick.

Today, as Frasers’ Fleet Manager, Mark is responsible for all workshop and driver training, including TruckSafe inductions.

Mark is a stickler for safety and helped design, develop and build an innovative cross-loading solution to make cattle transfers between road trains faster, safer for workers and better for the animals. This cross-loading solution has won multiple safety awards.

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