Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Trucking operations and their representative organisations kicked top gear last week thanking the hard-working men and woman that are out on the road every day making sure the New Zealand economy keeps ticking over. 

Stations at truck stops and hubs around the country were roaring with lots of happy truckies taking away gift packs, sausages and free coffees for their hard work over the years.  

Some even didn’t believe that it was happening, ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ they say, but the industry proved them wrong. 

The week was organized by New Zealand Truck and Driver magazine and its publisher Allied Publications. Allied employers and directors alike were out and about at truck stops across Auckland and Northland supporting the men and women out on the road and handing out goodie bags. 

Along with Truck and Driver, trucking and forestry industry representative organisations and private businesses had events of their own across the country. 

“There’s been a lot of happy campers out here today,” says David Aitken, CEO of National Road Carriers….”We’ve handed out over 100 sausages in one morning, most of the truckies ask where the donation box is, they think we are fundraising….we say no! today is for you!” 

Along with this there were also celebrations going on in other parts of the country. The Road Transport Association put on food and drink for drivers at the Canterbury A&P showgrounds with the help of ASB Asset Finance. 

“It was a great day down here,” says RTA Canterbury rep Simon Carson…”we had about 80 drivers show up and put on some food and drink for them. They all stayed for 30 minutes or more over their break. They were also gifted with a few goodies for them to take with them…. the response was really good, some of the reactions were priceless, they couldn’t believe something like this was being done just for them.” 

Keith McGuire from the Road Transport Association and Kevin O’Hara from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Team were based in Kevin’s usual spot in Huntly. 

“Drivers who called in were very happy to come and have a chat for a few minutes and each left with a bag of goodies donated from their road safety partners,” says Keith 

Support for truck drivers came in from all sectors of the industry with the Eastland Wood Council putting on a big do for its log truck drivers in the Gisborne/Wairoa area. 

“Drivers play an integral part in keeping our economy moving – from the food on your tables, the fuel in your vehicle, products to market, to the logs for processing…  They do an amazing job with long hours on the road, and often a thankless task so this week It was a chance to say thanks to the men and women who drive our trucks!” says Kim Holland, CEO of the Eastland Wood Council. 

And it wasn’t only organisations celebrating the hard-working drivers out on the road. Businesses got involved too. 

A prime example of a company getting into the spirit of Truck Driver Appreciation Week was Hilton Haulage. Based in Timaru the trucking firm spent the week celebrating their drivers with various events each day, from free health check-ups to barbeques to free fruit. 

“Hilton Haulage Limited Partnership has over 280 permanent drivers across twelve locations from Mangatawhiri in the far north to Gore in the deep south. We were delighted to support this National event and recognise the hard work that our professional drivers at Hilton Haulage, Dairy Fresh and Whiteline make each day,” says Hilton Haulage executive assistant Kylie Brandt. 

They even went so far as to put their drivers in a draw to win a trip to the Brisbane Truck Show next year!

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