Fuso NZ’s inaugural technical skills competition saw 48 of its best technicians from across the country step forward to put their expertise to the test – vying to be named the first-ever winner with the grand prize of an all-expenses paid trip to Japan.
The honour of being named the first-ever Fuso NZ technical skills competition winner fell to Allen Whitaker of Prestige Commercial Vehicles Invercargill.
“Allen’s victory was thoroughly deserved at the end of what was a challenging and closely fought competition,” said Fuso NZ national training manager Mark Woodley. “We really wanted to put our finalists to the test, to prove we have some of the best people working in their field and to ensure the title was well-earned.
“The fact it was such a close call between the five finalists demonstrates the level of quality we have across our network, and hopefully encourages more of the best to put themselves forward to be recognised for their ability.”
Joseph Rogers of Keith Andrews Trucks Hamilton and Mike Pilbrow of Keith Andrews Trucks Whangarei came second and third respectively.
The competition, strongly supported by ASL (SP Tools) and Metermaster (PicoScope), involved three assessments throughout the year to evaluate problem-solving and fact-finding abilities, with points awarded for each individual’s methodology and end result.
The top five technicians were invited to a two-day practical and written assessment at Fuso NZ’s Auckland training facility on 4-5 September, where they underwent 5 one hour-long assessments – two theory and three practical – covering technical knowledge, customer service, diagnostic process and overall efficiency.
Assessing the finalists was a panel with a combined 140+ years’ of industry experience. This included Fuso NZ’s Mark Woodley (National training manager), Drew Forsyth (National technical & service manager), Trevor Moreland (Technical Consultant), Ian Knapman-Smith (Warranty Administrator), Danielle Chrystall (Receptionist), and finally, guest judge Chris Carr, director of Carr & Haslam.
Winner Allen Whitaker will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Japan, including a trip to the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation head office in Shin-Kawasaki and an opportunity to visit the company’s famous testing facility based at Kitsuregawa.
Having only left the country on one other occasion, 33-year-old Allen says he’s overwhelmed about the news.
“I’d entered the competition to increase my own knowledge and experience – I hadn’t expected to win it!” he says.
“Everyone who participated took something positive away from the experience, which is what it’s all about. At the end of the day, we just want to provide the best service we can and keep our customers happy.”
The second and third place winners received an automotive oscilloscope and digital multimeter provided by the event’s sponsors.
Delivering Better across the board
Fuso NZ managing director Kurtis Andrews said the competition was another strand in the company’s approach to ‘delivering better’ at every level of the business – both in terms of customer satisfaction and team culture.
“First of all, I’d like to congratulate Allen and all of the finalists for the high level of the competition,” said Andrews. “Special thanks also to our guest judge, Chris Carr.
“Our technical skills competition has been put in place to recognise and reward the expertise of our top-performing technicians, to encourage pride in their work and ultimately to keep raising the bar across the network. We’re creating a culture of friendly rivalry and self-improvement, which is a win for our team and for our customers.”