Awards cel­e­brate in­no­va­tion... and old­fash­ioned val­ues

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - News -

Theld dur­ing the Road Trans­port Fo­rum Con­fer­ence in Dunedin, “turned into a cel­e­bra­tion of old-fash­ioned com­mu­nity val­ues and in­no­va­tion in the road trans­port in­dus­try,” says RTF chief ex­ec­u­tive Ken Shirley.

“The win­ners of the

and the are prime ex­am­ples of the com­mu­nity spirit and car­ing na­ture that still ex­ists in the road trans­port sec­tor here in NZ,” says Shirley.

The evening’s head­line award, the

was de­servedly won by Dunedin’s Greg Inch, the founder of

The owner of Greg Inch Earth­mov­ing started Spe­cial Rigs in 1992, to give spe­cial needs c hil­dren an op­por­tu­nity to ride in a truck and get up­close and per­sonal with the machin­ery.

Run in late Au­gust ev­ery year, the event now at­tracts up to 200 trucks and is en­tirely run by Greg and vol­un­teers – with help from spon­sors, the Po­lice and St John Am­bu­lance. It’s not un­heard of for the con­voy of trucks to stretch up to 12 kilo­me­tres as it snakes its way through Dunedin and out to Taieri.

Greg and have also sup­ported other causes such as Koru Club, South­land Hos­pi­tal and the Roxburgh Health Camp.

Says Shirley: “What Greg does puts a smile on the face of so many young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies.

re­ally is a fan­tas­tic event and it was im­por­tant that the in­dus­try ac­knowl­edged all Greg’s hard work with this award.”

It was also fan­tas­tic to have Greg’s two teenage daugh­ters there at the awards din­ner to cel­e­brate with him.

The for 2018, which recog­nises a driver who has sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­uted to the safety of oth­ers, was ap­pro­pri­ately won by Fon­terra driver Phil New­ton.

“As pre­vi­ously re­ported in Phil ex­hib­ited ex­tra­or­di­nary calm­ness and com­po­sure i n as­sist­ing a woman who was at se­ri­ous risk of jump­ing off the Ara­puni Dam in the Waikato.

“As Phil was driv­ing over the dam he no­ticed a car parked in a strange spot…then saw the woman sit­ting close to a cliff edge.

“He stopped his truck and went back, found a hole in the safety fenc­ing and went to the woman. It was ob­vi­ous that she’d been hav­ing a pretty hard time of it and was ex­tremely up­set. So, Phil sat next to her and kept her chat­ting un­til the Po­lice ar­rived.”

Adds Shirley: “Phil’s in­tu­ition and calm ap­proach saved the young woman’s life and, while he may not wish to ad­mit it, Phil was a real hero that day.

founder Greg Inch re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion at the end of his ac­cep­tance speech

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