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Young Gore truckie takes out top prize - 24th Oct 2016

Bradley Curtis, winner of the King Rig competition at the Invercargill Truck Parade. More than 18 hours of polishing and five cans of tyre shine is what you need to take out the title of King Rig, a young truckie has learned.

Bradley Curtis, a 19-year-old truck driver for Hokonui Rural Transport, was named the winner of the King Rig competition during the Invercargill Truck Parade on Sunday.

Curtis, who is in the process of achieving his heavy transport licenses, said he got just two hours sleep in the days leading up to the parade, having spent so much time getting the truck ready to put on show.

"It was just one of the ones in the fleet I kind of liked."

He spent six hours polishing the stock crate, and about 12 hours on the eight truck wheels and 10 trailer wheels.

Curtis also took out the title of Best Kenworth truck.

The young truckie said he would encourage all young people to give truck driving a go.

"It's really cool. You get to see different parts of the country all the time. It's an honest living."

Curtis' manager Adam Waghorn said Curtis' win was a great achievement for "the young fella".

Hokonui Rural Transport had "picked" Curtis up while he was studying at the Southern Institute of Technology, and offered him a fulltime job, Waghorn said.

"It's great to see the younger ones coming through. And he just takes so much pride in his gear."

Invercargill Truck Parade organiser Mark Purdue said about 130 trucks were entered for judging in the competition, while about 150 trucks cruised through the city for the parade.

Judging for the King Rig award was based on the presentation of the truck, including cleanliness, bling, and wow factor, Purdue said. 

"You look for the time an effort [the driver spent on it], how clean the interior is, whether the outside was clean and tidy, and if the exhaust is tidy and shiny."

No stone was left by the judges, who would check under floor mats and sun visors for dust, he said.

Purdue said Curtis was "absolutely over the moon" when he was named the winner.

It was great to see a young driver taking pride in his vehicle, he said.

The trucking industry was trying to show school-aged kids that driving was a viable career choice, Purdue said.

"It's not just being a truck driver, you could be a dispatcher, or an accountant for a company.

"The problem with the shortage of drivers in Southland ... is that it takes three years to get your HT [heavy traffic] licenses."

Earlier in the weekend, 18 different companies offered up a truck each to take children for a ride.

Purdue said more than 230 kids showed up, with one of the most popular choices a concrete truck.

King Rig - Bradley Curtis, of Hokonui Rural Transport.
Runner-up - Cole Frew, of Eden Haulage
Best new truck
Under 20,000kms - 'Dirty', of Switzer Valley Transport
20,000 - 100,000 kms - 'Big Al', of Central Southland Freight
100,000 - 300,000kms - Ken, of Toll
300,000 - 600,000kms - Colin Wallace, of Eden Haulage
600,000 - 1millionkms - Garreth, of Dixon Transport
Best fleet - Eden Haulage
Longest Distance Travelled  - Vaughan Peart, of Brenics
Shiniest Rims - James Moynihan, of Summerland Express
Paint Job - Cole Frew, of Eden Haulage
Working Truck - Nathan Bates, of Jim Bates Contracting
Linehaul - Vaughan Peart, of Brenics
Fuel Tanker - 'Nev', of Allied Petroleum
Logger Truck - Phil Taylor, of Southern Transport
Fertiliser Spreader Truck - Joseph Petch, of D T Kings
Stock Truck - Brad Lloyd, of Murihiku Haulage
Gravel Truck - Robbie Officer, of Ryal Bush Transport
DAF - Steve, of Rohan Haulage
Freightliner - Davey, of Northern Southland Transport
Hino - Wayne Booth, of McNeill Distribution
International - Scott Hutton, of Murihiku Haulage
Isuzu - Jock Evans, of AZAP Couriers
Iveco - 'Gibbo', of Central Southland Freight
Kenworth - Bradley Curtis, of Hokonui Rural Transport
Mack - Sam Howden, of McNeills Distribution
MAN - Mark, of Kapuka Heenans
Mercedes - Gary Smart, of Transport Services Southland
Fuso - James Allison, of Southern Transport
UD Truck - Daniel Kent, of D T Kings
Scania - Mason Murphy, of Andrews Transport
Volvo - Darryl Shand, of Freight Haulage
Western Star - Ross Carlene, of Halls Refrigeration
Other - Carlos, of Jim Bates Contracting
Vintage - Tony, of Southern Transport

Source - Hannah Mcleod, The Southland Times
Photo - John Hawkins

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