Hino Distributors (NZ) Ltd have launched a truck driver’s licence competition to help combat the nationwide heavy-duty driver shortage.
In New Zealand, the trucking industry is significant; transporting up to 90 per cent of the country’s total freight and directly contributing to the economy. Domestic freight is expected to grow by 75 per cent in the next 20-30 years, yet many heavy-duty trucks are laying idle due to a national truck driver shortage.
The National Road Carriers Association says the sector has been short of drivers for more than 10 years and the situation is about to get worse.
“Many drivers find it difficult to make the transition from Class 2 and Class 4 to the required Class 5 needed for heavy-duty trucks,” says the General Manager of Sime Darby Commercial Group and Hino NZ’s Acting General Manager, Chris Brown. “It takes time, money, and they need access to a suitable truck for lessons. We want to make it easier for three lucky recipients and help our industry in the process.”
With either Class 4 or Class 5 truck licence prize packages up for grabs, the winners will receive logbook (unit standard) theory, practical training and assessment through AMS Group. Each package is valued up to $1,000.
In addition to launching the competition at CD Field Days, Hino NZ will have a range of light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks on their site, including Dews Construction Ltd’s latest Hino Euro 5 700 Series FY3248.
Dews Construction are a multi-civil contracting business who primarily work with local authorities in the wider Wellington region. Their new truck has been fitted with a Palfinger PK17 crane, T20 hookloader, and 40mm Ringfeder trailer gear. It can change from a tipping bin, and flat deck with a small bulk tipper, to a self-contained hydro vacuum excavator, thanks to three different bodies built by Gary Douglas Engineers. This flexibility allows the truck to be used for a variety of applications including recent work on the MacKays to Peka Peka road project. The large crane is particularly useful on big building structures and bridges.
The majority of Dews Construction’s 36 vehicle fleet are medium and heavy-duty Hinos. “The brand is really good for our industry, and we’ve had no issues with our trucks,” says Company Director, Dave Dews. He’s particularly impressed with the new automatic transmission gear box, which he says makes the trucks even safer for the drivers. “We get good service, and have had a great working relationship with Hino for six or seven years now”.
Drivers wishing to enter the licence competition can do so Hino NZ’s CD Field Days site 078-079, online at hino.co.nz/everyone, or at National Field Days in June. A colouring in competition for the younger generation is being run at the same time, and can be found hino.co.nz/new/colouring-in-competition.