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Published: 12 May 2023

Introducing the Truck of the Year Australasia Award

PowerTorque magazine from Australia, in association with NZ Trucking from New Zealand are introducing the Truck of the Year Australasia Award for the first time in 2023.

This year sees the arrival of a major initiative to increase the profile of the truck industry in Australia and New Zealand and emphasises the importance of trucks to our nations’ wellbeing and prosperity.

Truck of the Year Australasia (ToYA) will be presented at the Brisbane Truck Show in front of the media on May 18 and will also serve as an opportunity for the truck industry, as a whole, to promote its importance to the Australasian economy.

Australasia presents truck makers with challenges unlike those it faces elsewhere in the world and also considerably tougher. Trucks are working in the harshest conditions, extreme heat, sub-zero temperatures and mountainous topography at weights up to and over 200 tonnes in some cases and the trucks are running at higher speeds than most of the rest of the world.

Unlike the other regions in the world, Australia and New Zealand utilise trucks from Europe, North America and Asia, and are loading these trucks to much higher weights than they are designed for in their domestic markets.

In 2023, the first ToYA will be awarded to the truck which meets criteria based on those used globally by the other three International Truck of the Year (IToY) awards already in existence, in Europe, South America and China, but also taking into account the particular characteristics of the Australasian truck markets.

PowerTorque Editor, Tim Giles, and NZ Trucking Editor, Dave McCoid, are Associate Members of the IToY jury.

Truck of the Year Australasia is a positive initiative which will shine a spotlight on the excellence of the product hauling freight on Australasian highways. There is general media interest in the award, which will further enhance that spotlight. Also, with the help of the close connections with fellow jury members and access to trucking industry publications around the world, it is an opportunity to showcase this Australasian excellence internationally.

To choose the winner, a jury of five people will assess the trucks nominated. Apart from Tim Giles,  and Dave McCoid, Charleen Clarke from South Africa makes up a third IToY representative. The other two jurors are long time Australian trucking industry stalwart, Bob Woodward, recently retired as the Australian Trucking Association Chief Engineer and Randolph Kovich, Publisher of Deals on Wheels from New Zealand.

The award is our region’s development adding to the International Truck of the Year (IToY) award family, which was originally launched in 1977 by the British journalist and legendary Editor of TRUCK magazine, Pat Kennett. Today, the 23 jury members from magazines throughout Europe have been joined by 'associate members' in the growing truck markets of Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, China, India, Iran, Malaysia, and South Africa. Altogether, the combined truck operator readership of the 24 IToY full-jury members’ magazines and those of its 10 associate members exceeds 1 100 000.

In Australia, the period around the Brisbane Truck Show is the obvious time and place to make the announcement of the award, as it is one of the few occasions when all the Managing Directors and CEOs, of all of the truck manufacturers operating in the Australian truck market, are in the same room. The presentation of the award will alternate between Australia and New Zealand, with the 2024 award being presented in New Zealand.