Barry Fitzgerald voted 2018 National Professional Driver of the Year
Boral driver voted industry’s best
FOLLOWING AN UNBLEMISHED 45-year career in road transport, Boral Logistics’ Barry Fitzgerald has been rewarded with the National Professional Driver of the Year award for 2018.
Barry was presented with the award by National Transport Insurance general manager – sales and distribution Mike Edmonds at the Australian Trucking Association’s annual Trucking Australia conference in Canberra on April 20.
Fitzgerald has been a member of Boral’s Safety Committee for 20 years and was a drivers’ representative on Boral’s Enterprise Bargaining Committee for 16 years. He has long been dedicated to safety and the education of drivers, producing training videos and assessing new driver applicants for Boral Logistics, where he has worked for the last 25 years.
According to Boral, Fitzgerald, who plans to retire later this year, started his career delivering fuel in 1971 for his future father-in-law who owned an Ampol service station in Cootamundra, NSW. He soon progressed through several companies transporting newspapers, meat, livestock and interstate freight.
Boral paid tribute to Fitzgerald on its website, saying his ability and his ambition to drive big trucks led him to Blue Circle Cement in 1993, a company that Boral would later acquire.
Fitzgerald later upgraded to a B-double licence, immediately making the switch to the 60-tonne rigs and driving them ever since.
“In those days we had day and night shifts and the supervisor put me in a truck to do day shift, partnered with a bloke called Rod Sellwood who did nights,” Fitzgerald recalls. Boral says the partnership has survived eight prime movers.
“We’ve done over three million kilometres in 25 years without a traffic ticket or a serious incident,” Fitzgerald says. “He has been a shining example of professionalism to his fellow drivers and he is respected by managers and drivers alike,” Boral Logistics NSW/ACT supply chain general manager Victoria Sherwood says.
Other awards announced at Trucking Australia included National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year, which went to Belinda Polglase, project manager at All Purpose Transport. Truck dealer Brown & Hurley picked up the National Training Excellence Award, while JJ Lawson Transport was presented with the TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award. Ross Fraser, from Frasers Livestock Transport, was recognised with the Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry award, and Frances Ross, from
R & A Ross Transport, picked up the Don Watson Memorial Award.
Barry Fitzgerald (left) receives the 2018 Professional Driver of the Year award from the NTI’s Mike Edmonds