Isuzu team wins National Apprentice Challenge

An Isuzu team has taken out the prestigious mechanical apprentice challenge in Brisbane.

Apprentices Samual Allan (Ballarat Isuzu in Victoria) and Luke Kneebone (Webster Trucks in Tasmania) over the weekend were declared the winners of the Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) National Apprentice Challenge.

Held as part of the Brisbane Truck Show, the gruelling competition attracts some of the best and brightest mechanical apprentices from all over Australia to compete in a staged competition as they identify and rectify a series of pre-programmed truck faults.

At this year’s event apprentices were working on two Isuzu GXD 165-350 prime movers, on loan from Isuzu for the duration of the competition.

In the end, the Southern Team edged out a gallant Western Team, comprising Bekitemba Gwebu from Major Motors Isuzu in Perth, and Beau Smith representing CMV Truck Centre in Cavan, South Australia.

In a seesawing four days of competition, all three representative teams battled for top spot, with the lead changing several times.

With bonus points up for grabs and faults repaired with just seconds to spare on the countdown clock, the event proved to be quite the spectacle for passers-by at the South Bank Piazza and the 400-strong crowd in attendance.

Finalists received tool prize packages courtesy of Warby Tools, while the winning team took away hosted trips to the 2021 Supercars Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 event.

Isuzu Australia Limited’s (IAL) National Service Manager, Brett Stewart said he was thrilled with the success of the competition and the winning result for the Southern Team.

“This event has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years. It’s a fantastic way to inject passion and comradery into the broader technical skills sector, and we were delighted to support the challenge with two Isuzu trucks to work on,” he said.

“We could not be prouder of both Sam and Luke. As young apprentices, they’ve put their hands up to ‘have a go’, come out of their comfort zones, and by all reports, they’re extremely glad they did,” Stewart said.

“I can only continue to encourage any young apprentices in the truck world to take up these sorts of industry opportunities and see where it takes you.”

Runners Up: Bekitemba Gwebu and Beau Smith.

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