Monday, June 16, 2014

Freight Industry Representatives Share Trucking Industry Awards and Celebrate One Man's Heroism

Hamilton Island Sees Celebration of Safety and Service Whilst Inaugural Highway Guardian Accolade Goes to Lifesaver
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – A big week for truckers Down Under with the announcement by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) of the winners of the 2014 National Trucking Industry Awards, recently announced at the ATA Foundation Sponsors Gala Awards Dinner on Hamilton Island. The National Trucking Industry Awards are keenly anticipated by those hauling freight in some of the most diverse conditions on the planet and have now been joined by a new ATA initiative, the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award, which honours professional truck drivers who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those around them during the course of their normal work.

Firstly the NTIA accolades, this year winners included National Professional Driver of the Year, Tom Scotney, who has travelled more than 6.3 million kilometres without receiving a fine in the last 10 years. Tom said he was proud to represent the industry he loves and found the accolade ‘unbelievable’.

The winner of the National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year Award, Lynne Jack, took over the running of her father’s Volvo dealership in 1984 and was elected as a member of the Volvo Dealer Council six years later. She is a founding member of the Newcastle and Hunter Road Transport Awareness day and Lynne thanked everybody involved after an initial ‘Oh Wow!’

The Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry Award went to David Simon of Simon National Carriers. David is the immediate past Chair of the ATA and has represented the industry through his positions on the NHVR project implementation board, the HVCI reform board, and as an observer to the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure. David commented:

“The awards are about recognising those who contribute to the industry – there are many in this room who have given much of their own time and money.”

The National Trucking Industry Awards are sponsored by ATA Foundation Sponsors BP Australia, NTI and Volvo Trucks; Cummins South Pacific; Austbrokers AEI Transport; DECA and Castrol and other winners were:

TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award for excellence in the TruckSafe programme – Directhaul, Berrimah, NT.

National Training Excellence Award - Toll Mining Services, Newburn, WA.

Don Watson Memorial Award for conspicuous achievement in furthering the industry’s objectives - Tim Wedlock, Austbrokers AEI Transport Insurance Brokers, Gordon, NSW.

There was another very significant award this week with the inaugural Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian accolade going to Brad Morrison of Nightingale Transport. Coming upon an horrific accident in November last year on the Cunningham Highway near Aratula, Brad found a burning car with a young unconscious mother and her baby trapped inside.

Selflessly Brad got through the flames and smoke as fuel emptied onto the road to rescue the 10 month old little girl from the back seat. Shortly afterward there was an explosion and unfortunately the woman could not be saved. In his own words Brad tells the story of how he was on a regular run when he heard of the crash:

“I was just past Cunningham’s Gap on the way into Brisbane - I do that run quite a lot - when I got a call over the UHF radio that a truck had gone into the bushes. I slowed down and came round the bend, expecting to see him just run off the road, and saw a big crash instead - the truck was jack knifed and there was a little car, all on fire.

“There was diesel all around from the truck. The crash must have ruptured the main tank - I reckon he’d only just filled up - so there was probably about fifteen hundred litres spilling around. I pulled up and jumped out as quick as I could to see if there was anything I could do to help. As I came up around the back on the little car, I could hear a baby crying. I just had to get in there, I had to get the baby out.”

Speaking at the ceremony to mark the award at the International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in Melbourne, ATA Chair Noelene Watson said Brad was a highly deserving recipient of this, the first award, and extended the greatest sympathy to the family involved, whilst Andrew Moffatt, Managing Director of Bridgestone Australia Ltd said:

“Brad’s selfless actions sum up everything that the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award stands for. His bravery in the face of extreme danger speaks volumes, not only for Brad himself but also for the trucking community in general. Bridgestone is proud to affirm our commitment to the trucking industry by supporting this important ATA initiative. We’re also enormously pleased that the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian will help to highlight some of the excellent people in this industry.”

A Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian candidate may be acknowledged at any time during the year. The title is not exclusive to one person, but rather will belong to a growing number of drivers over time. Each award recipient will be hosted to the ATA’s national Trucking Australia event, including flights, full delegate registration and accommodation. New Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardians will be honoured at the ATA Foundation Sponsors Gala Dinner. Potential Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian candidates can be brought to the ATA’s attention at any time by emailing

Photo: (L-R) 2014 National Trucking Industry Award winners: Brian 'Spud' Murphy, Tom Scotney, Tim Wedlock, Lynne Jack, Geoff Massey and David Simon.