NZ champion truck driver found

New Zealand’s champion truck driver has been found after a close and exciting final of the New Zealand Truck Driving Championship at Baypark in Tauranga.

Stuart -Howard

Stuart Howard of Terence Howard and Sons out of Pukekohe showed tremendous consistency across all tests to come through as the overall champion. The competition was extremely close and it wasn’t until the final ‘drive-off’ that Stuart emerged as the winner.

For his efforts Stuart took home a $10,000 cheque courtesy of major event sponsors TR Group and Master Drive Services.

17 regional heat winners battled it out across a demanding schedule of theory and practical tests to find four class winners as well as the Young Driver of the Year and the overall champion driver.

The standard of knowledge and driving was extremely high with competition coordinator Mark Ngatuere commenting that "to win at this year’s event required competitors to virtually nail every challenge put in front of them".

In the rigid sections Dean Wilson of Philip Wareing Limited took out the Class 2 competition and Maikara Brown Rapana of Move Logistics won the Class 3 & 4 category.

Last year’s NZ Champion Driver Reagan Brown of HWR Freight Haulage came out on top of the Truck-Trailer Combination section, while John Baillie of Baillie Transport in Auckland won the Tractor-Semi Combination category.

In the ERoad NZ Young Truck Driver of the Year category, Campbell Murdoch of Murdoch Transport Limited, Pahiatua, retained his title and took home a $1,500 cheque courtesy of ERoad.

"The New Zealand Truck Driving Championship is a great opportunity for the road transport industry to display the high degree of skill and knowledge required to successfully drive large trucks in the commercial environment," says RTF Chief Executive Ken Shirley.

"Each one of our finalists should be extremely proud of their achievement in just getting to this event. To qualify they have had to win a regional or company heat so the final itself is naturally very competitive."

"The Road Transport Forum is extremely appreciative of the work of our associations in running this year’s regional heats and helping us out with the Championship. A big thank you must also go to the Championship sponsors, TR Group and Master Drive Services," says Shirley.

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