Hino NZ’s in­au­gu­ral skills com­pe­ti­tion

Motor Equipment News - - PANEL & PAINT -

The na­tional fi­nal of the in­au­gu­ral Hino Skills Com­pe­ti­tion was held in Auck­land on Au­gust 1 to de­ter­mine the top Hino trained Truck­stops tech­ni­cian in New Zealand. The com­pe­ti­tion, jointly run be­tween Hino Distrib­u­tors and its after sales sup­port part­ner Truck­stops, saw 28 Truck­stops tech­ni­cians across New Zealand test their knowl­edge of the Hino prod­uct.

“We are con­stantly look­ing at ways to im­prove the sup­port we pro­vide our Hino cus­tomers and felt an ini­tia­tive of this na­ture was a great way to im­prove our tech­ni­cians’ knowl­edge base - through a lit­tle healthy com­pe­ti­tion,” said Hino’s gen­eral man­ager, Dar­ren Salt. Hino holds sim­i­lar com­pe­ti­tions through­out the world.

Heidi Inkster from Truck­stops Welling­ton stole the show, see­ing off 27 com­peti­tors to take the top prize, with a very con­sis­tent ef­fort through­out the com­pe­ti­tion.

Heidi joined Truck­stops as a diesel tech­ni­cian ap­pren­tice in May 2013 and, after com­plet­ing her ap­pren­tice­ship in March 2016, has gone from strength to strength. Heidi, who has an in­her­ent cu­rios­ity to learn and is not afraid to call a spade a spade, is a true ex­am­ple of a woman shin­ing in a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try.

Heidi’s boss, Chris Groves, branch man­ager, Truck­stops Welling­ton, said, “We are very proud for Heidi to rep­re­sent our busy branch, and for her to win the NZ com­pe­ti­tion is fan­tas­tic.”

Si­mon Wil­son, Hino New Zealand’s tech­ni­cal sup­port man­ager added, “We are thrilled to have such a tal­ented fe­male tech­ni­cian sup­port­ing Hino in the Truck­stops net­work. We hope Heidi’s suc­cess will en­cour­age other fe­males to con­sider the heavy trans­port in­dus­try as a vi­able ca­reer op­tion.”

The fi­nal saw Heidi and sec­ond-placed Chito Di­mac­u­lan­gan from Truck­stops, Mt Welling­ton branch com­pet­ing against the clock, tak­ing turns to com­plete three prac­ti­cal ex­er­cises each. In be­tween the prac­ti­cal tests there were also the­ory tests to com­plete.

“We wanted to test the com­peti­tors’ skills and knowl­edge as well as their abil­ity to work un­der pres­sure to a set time­frame much like the chal­lenges our tech­ni­cians face in our work­shops on a daily ba­sis,” says Si­mon. Bene Prasad from the Truck­stops Dunedin branch who came third in the com­pe­ti­tion, also at­tended the event as a re­serve.

The com­pe­ti­tion was held at the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre in Auck­land which runs the Truck­stops Ap­pren­tice­ship Pro­gramme and sup­ports both Hino and Truck­stops with tar­geted, prod­uct-spe­cific train­ing pro­grammes.

Says Kevin Smith, gen­eral man­ager of Truck­stops: “Our Ap­pren­tice­ship Pro­gramme en­ables Truck­stops to nur­ture tal­ented peo­ple by pro­vid­ing a clear and re­ward­ing ca­reer path across the Truck­stops na­tion­wide net­work.” Truck­stops takes up­wards of 14 new ap­pren­tices ev­ery year.

Heidi heads to Australia to com­pete in a trans-Tas­man clash against the top Hino Australia tech­ni­cian as well as head­ing to Hino Ja­pan to ob­serve the global fi­nal later this year. In fu­ture Hino NZ is hop­ing that our lo­cal win­ner will be el­i­gi­ble to com­pete against the best in the world at this event.

Heidi doesn’t let the scru­tiny of the judges slow her down. Left to right: Heidi Inkster, David Beech (judge) and Dar­ren Trask (judge).

Pat McKenna, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Sime Darby Mo­tors Group, New Zealand and Australia, con­grat­u­lates Heidi.

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