Industry Insights

Bound For Glory: Isuzu Trucks 2019 National Technical Skills Competition

Isuzu Australia Limited’s (IAL) 14th National Technical Skills Competition will take place on 31 July 2019, bringing together the nation’s best and brightest Isuzu technicians and testing their skills against the clock. They will compete to represent Australia at Isuzu Motors Limited’s (Japan) World Service Technical Competition, otherwise known as the I-1 Grand Prix.

The National Technical Skills Competition will be held at IAL’s training facility in Melbourne, Victoria, and will involve a written examination and three high-pressure practical tests, where participants will face complex technical problems to diagnose and remedy under the watchful eye of an expert judging panel.

The tests are designed to not only measure a technician’s knowledge, but also how they perform in high-pressure situations.

“It’s a great test of their problem-solving capabilities and their ability to adapt to whatever Isuzu product is brought through the garage door,” said IAL National Training Manager, Mr David Smith.

Selected from the best Isuzu technicians in Australia, ten technicians (see appended table) will compete in the National Technical Skills Competition this year. However, only the top two finalists will make it into the Australian team, which will compete against other national teams from throughout the Isuzu global network. The Australian team will be led by appointed coach and Isuzu Trucks expert, Mr Charlie Gracewood.

With the assistance of the Isuzu Trucks dealer network, Mr Gracewood will then take his team through their paces in a bid to win back a spot on the podium against the favoured Japanese, English and New Zealand national teams.

Last year’s national team members, Michael Primmer from Winter & Taylor Isuzu (Victoria) and Jason Peterkin from Tony Ireland Isuzu (Queensland), will both again be in contention for a place on the 2019 national team.

But past success doesn’t guarantee future success due to the nature of the testing, according to Mr Smith.

“The testing is changed and redesigned every year, to represent the ever-changing Australian trucking environment.

“We want to see our technicians cut through the surface of what they’re being asked to solve and really get into the thick of what is causing the issues they’re solving, rather than simply fixing the superficial.

“That’s what makes this format so difficult. There’s no point in testing what’s obvious or making these tasks easy to complete.

“We’re here to uncover the best Isuzu Trucks technician in Australia, and we need to have the tests to match,” Mr Smith explained.

The National Technical Skills Competition in Australia is a part of a full-circle approach that represents the Isuzu Trucks ethos of investing in and developing its greatest resource—its people.

“This is also about bringing our technicians and product experts to the forefront of the business.

“They’re often operating behind garage doors, behind the scenes, but there’s no other group within the business with more knowledge of the product and how it’s being used,” said Mr Smith.

“This program continues to upskill our technicians, while providing an exciting platform to showcase their mechanical expertise.”

For those successful in Melbourne, the road to Japan doesn’t skip a beat, with an intensive three-phase training program to take place at IAL’s purpose-built training facility.

“We’re really excited to have Charlie Gracewood on board and leading the team this year as we take on the Group A competition in Japan.

“We’re extremely confident it’ll all come together for a podium finish at this year’s I-1 Grand Prix,” Mr Smith said.

Michael Primmer
Richard Dunsmuir
Adil Malinovic
Winter & Taylor
Patterson Cheney
Patterson Cheney
Alex Lee
Brad Hickey
Suttons Motors Arncliffe
Peel Valley Trucks
Matthew Radke
Luc Akurangi
Jason Peterkin
Black Truck Sales
Gold Coast Isuzu
Tony Ireland Isuzu
Magno Atanoc
Jason Lee
Major Motors (Malaga)
Road Runner Mechanical Services