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Celebrating the unsung innovators of our trucking workshops

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21 September 2018
Four outstanding workshop professionals have been named as finalists for the 2018 Craig Roseneder Award, which recognises technical and maintenance excellence in the trucking industry’s workshops. 
 
Tony Wright (Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage, Goulburn, NSW), Christopher Blanchard (Herb Blanchard Haulage, Grafton, NSW), Jason Barry (Border Crane Consultants, Wodonga, VIC) and Dennis Roohan (AJM Transport, Beresfield, NSW) were selected as finalists for their technical skill and dedication to the industry. 
 
“This year, our judging panel received an unprecedented number of nominations from all around Australia,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said today. 
 
“The calibre of nominations was outstanding, and I am thrilled to see Tony, Christopher, Jason and Dennis recognised for their contribution. 
 
“The award recognises the exceptional skill and dedication of Australia’s professional workshop personnel, with particular focus on innovation, mentoring and industry involvement,” he said. 
 
This award is proudly sponsored by Castrol Vecton, who will send the winner on an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta, Georgia, USA, to attend the US Technology and Maintenance Council’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition. 
 
“I congratulate the finalists and commend all the nominees for the amazing work they do. These are the innovators providing safety solutions. Every time they’re in the workshop, they are saving their company money and saving lives,” he said. 
 
The winner will be announced on Tuesday 16 October at the Castrol Vecton Awards Dinner, part of the ATA Technology and Maintenance Conference from 15-17 October in the Melbourne Docklands. 
 
 
 
2018 Craig Roseneder Award Finalists 
 
Tony Wright
Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage, Goulburn NSW 
 
A well-known member of the Goulburn community, Tony started his career in the industry as a school leaver and has been committed to long-term employment, spending 15 years with Gough and Gilmour before beginning his current role as workshop manager at Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage in 2005.
 
During his time with Divall’s, Tony has been influential in the modernisation of workshop equipment and the introduction of cost-saving measures by helping develop a fleet identification system and purchase order number system, as well as leading the charge in the installation of solar panels to the workshop. In consultation with major stakeholders, Tony was the instrumental player in designing and implementing a new sector of the mechanical workshop that included a state-of-the-art, 20m long service pit and an advanced brake roller and suspension tester testing facility. 
 
Tony promotes a healthy and safe workplace culture at Divall’s by implementing company quality, environmental and WHS systems not only in the workshop but across the entire organisation. Tony’s impeccable maintenance application, maintenance records and technical ability had played a vital role in Divall’s receiving the 2011 TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award. 
 
Recognised by industry peers as a ‘book of knowledge’, Tony has mentored and managed more than 20 apprentices and continues to guide and motivate his team of more than 30 mechanics, apprentices and trades assistants by influencing them to take positive action and accountability for their work.
 
 
Christopher Blanchard
Herb Blanchard Haulage, Grafton NSW 
 
In 1955, Herb and Noreen Blanchard began a business with one truck to haul fish to the Brisbane markets. Today, the business has 25 vehicles and 30 staff, and moves products across the east coast of Australia. 
 
Herb’s youngest son of six children, Christopher Blanchard, has been an innovator since he joined the business and is described by his colleagues as a big thinker. He completed an automotive apprenticeship at the local Holden and Mazda dealership and left TAFE in 1993 with the title “Apprentice of the Year” to join the family business. 
 
Since then, he has set many standards for the business and industry, including incorporating EBS and stability control technology to the company’s trailer fleet, implementing TruckSafe, and ensuring drivers have access to the tools they need to make them compliant and safe on the road. 
 
Chris has been a contributor to the national transport newspaper Big Rigs to help communicate fatigue regulations to the industry. He also developed a newer, safer way to deliver power poles with an innovative crane and PBS combination. 
 
He is dedicated to professional standards, client and supplier relationships, coaching, mentoring and training, and to supporting industry and the local community. 
 
 
Jason Barry
Border Crane Consultants, Wodonga VIC 
 
Jason has had an interest in all things mechanical from a young age, shadowing his motor mechanic uncle from age 12 before purchasing an LC Torana at age 13 to replace the engine and repaint the vehicle. Jason’s career began in 1999 as a mechanical trades assistant and after completing an apprenticeship in 2003, Jason worked in a range of roles before establishing his own business in 2011. 
 
Jason has numerous qualifications in engineering, training and assessment, and motorsports, and is an accredited vehicle engineer, providing truck dealers and body builders in the local area VASS inspections and engineering reports. 
 
Jason specialises in the engineering and compliance of heavy vehicles and has developed a safety and compliance upgrade package on behalf of the Australian Defence Force that has been rolled out nationally across three Defence crane models and implemented on more than 200 cranes. 
 
With a long history in transport maintenance and a dedication to the industry, Jason has been a member of the ATA Industry Technical Council since 2015, bringing extensive knowledge in areas of servicing, certification and repairs. 
 
 
Dennis Roohan
AJM Transport, Beresfield NSW 
 
Dennis spent a lot of his childhood around trucks before starting an apprenticeship in 1994 with John Farragher Transport Group in his hometown of Newcastle. Just months after completing his apprenticeship, Dennis’ knowledge, ability and leadership qualities saw him promoted as the company’s fleet maintenance manager. 
 
Dennis began working with AJM Transport in 2014 as a fleet maintenance manager and is now the company’s general manager. In his time at AJM Transport, Dennis has been responsible for rolling out new workshop software that has raised uptime, lowered maintenance costs, grown the fleet, and reduced the company’s level of defect by more than 68 per cent. Dennis also had significant input into the AJM Transport workshop design and has just rolled out a new GPS system for the fleet’s trucks and trailers. 
 
Dennis is an authorised light and heavy vehicle examiner and in 2016, led the charge for AJM Transport into PBS units. The move has enabled the company to do more work with less equipment. A member of the ATA’s Industry Technical Council, Dennis has attended meetings for the past 15 years and shows a dedication for learning new things and better ways of doing the job. 
 
During his career, Dennis has employed about 20 apprentices and believes the secret to developing hard workers and building team learning is proper mentoring and development opportunities.