LBRCA salutes new breed of driv­ers

Owner Driver - - News -

THE LIVE­STOCK, Bulk and Ru­ral Car­ri­ers As­so­ci­a­tion’s (LBRCA) Young Driver of the Year fi­nal­ists have been an­nounced for 2017, show­cas­ing a mix of ded­i­cated young tal­ent from across the truck­ing in­dus­try.

Owner//Driver spoke to LBRCA and founder of the Young Driver of the Year com­pe­ti­tion Lyn­ley Min­ers, who says he kicked the award off to cre­ate en­thu­si­asm, pos­i­tive in­dus­try news and en­cour­age­ment for the next gen­er­a­tion of truck driv­ers.

“The av­er­age age of the driver in this in­dus­try is old so it’s about en­cour­ag­ing our pro­fes­sion as a ca­reer choice for young peo­ple and ad­dress­ing a short­age of driv­ers out there,” he says. “It’s hard if you’re a young bloke to get a start th­ese days in a big truck.

“It re­ally helps get­ting pos­i­tive news out there and let­ting peo­ple know there are some good young fel­las out there.

“This award is about en­cour­ag­ing em­ploy­ers to give young peo­ple a go,” he adds.

Min­ers ex­plains that the fi­nal­ists are cho­sen based on driv­ing record, em­ployer feedback, their at­ti­tude and over­all skillset.

Nom­i­nees are then in­ter­viewed by a panel of judges, be­fore fi­nal­ists are de­cided upon.

The award is also about ac­knowl­edg­ing how hard the live­stock truck­ies work, and the var­ied na­ture of the work.

“A lot of th­ese op­er­a­tors just don’t get the recog­ni­tion they de­serve, es­pe­cially in live­stock – you’re talk­ing guys with con­vert­ible crates that go be­tween sheep and cat­tle and that’s tough.

“All the things that go with it like an­i­mal wel­fare, on-road en­force­ment; they’ve got a lot to deal with – with­out the young ones com­ing through, we don’t have an in­dus­try.”

The winner will be an­nounced at this year’s an­nual LBRCA Con­fer­ence in Dubbo from March 31 to April 1. The winner gets a trip to the United States to the value of $5000, giv­ing the young driver a chance to see how it’s done out­side of Aus­tralia.

“We or­gan­ise a tour with one of the fac­to­ries over there and we like them to have a look at the in­dus­try there, too,” Min­ers says. “Last year’s winner, Jeremy Horne, was a bulk op­er­a­tor and he wanted to look at one of the truck shows in the South, as well as re­ceiv­ing a tour of the Peter­bilt fac­tory.”

When asked how the award has ben­e­fit­ted the in­dus­try, Min­ers ex­plained that it’s helped to pro­mote trans­port as a ca­reer op­tion and pro­vided the ex­am­ple of two young men work­ing for his own trans­port op­er­a­tion.

“We’ve had very good feedback – our mem­bers and all the other peo­ple in­volved are right be­hind it.

“I’ve got a cou­ple of young guys work­ing for me now, and they’re earn­ing about six fig­ures each a year, so there’s ca­reer op­por­tu­nity as well as life­style.

“We’re off the beaten track, so we get to see the coun­try.

“You’re gen­er­ally not on the same road day in day out, so your routes vary and it keeps it ex­cit­ing.”

The five fi­nal­ists for the 2017 Young Driver of the Year award are Ni­cholas Mas­ters – White’s Stock Trans­port; Drew Cannon – Stock­mas­ter; Ricky Hether­ing­ton – CJ Mad­dern; Tony Keen – AB Keen Trans­port; and Jeremy Tay­lor – Tay­lor’s of Bun­gen­dore.

Lyn­ley Min­ers

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