National truck driver appreciation week

File photo.

This week is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the hard-working men and women of the New Zealand road transport industry, says Road Transport Forum Chief Executive Ken Shirley.

“National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is upon us and is a great time for organisations around the country to recognise the critical role played by truck drivers in keeping our economy moving.

“Every day road transport operators haul tens of thousands of tonnes of freight all over the country; be that food for supermarket shelves, logs from forestry skid sites, export product to our ports or building materials to the construction site.”

Ken says while putting up with a fair degree of negative publicity from the "ill-informed", New Zealand’s truck drivers are on-the-whole highly-skilled professionals doing a very challenging job.

He says they often work in remote locations through the dead of the night to make sure that freight is delivered safely where and "when the rest of us demands it, a service that most New Zealanders just take for granted”.

“New Zealand, like other developed economies is currently going through an acute professional driver shortage. RTF estimates that we are around 4,000 drivers short of where we need to be to sustain the future growth of our economy.”

“The fact is that if we can’t transport our goods to market, whether that be domestically or to international customers our economy will grind to a halt. Needless to say the industry is working extremely hard to recruit and retain young motivated New Zealanders who are keen for a life on the road.

"Next week’s NZ Truck Driving Championship Final and NZ Road Transport Industry Awards in Dunedin are evidence of the effort we are putting in to celebrate the professionalism and skill of our drivers," says Ken.

“The dedicated men and women of the road transport industry very rarely ask for it, but this week is a chance for the rest of us to finally say ‘thanks’ for all they do. They really are the driving force of our economy."



Posted on 10-10-2018 18:37 | By Slim Shady

What hard questions? I’ve very clearly explained all the figures. Here’s one for you - why did your industry feel the need to invent the “appreciation week”? Not feeling the love?


Posted on 09-10-2018 20:51 | By Kenworthlogger

I see you keep dodging the hard questions.... Quit clearly you dont have an answer for them.....


Posted on 09-10-2018 07:08 | By Slim Shady

Anybody can pass a test and get a licence. It’s not rocket science. Everybody who causes a crash has a licence. It’s how they behave after getting one that is the problem. You only have to look at the number of truck incidents currently on Sunlive to know that bad drivers are not weeded out as you claim. I understand the stats and reports and the way they are compiled very well thanks. As does your industry which is why you invented the PR appreciation crap and try to spin it. If you didn’t have a problem, you wouldn’t need to do that would you? But you lot think the problem is ours for not appreciating your substandard driving. Maybe your slogan for next years thank you week should be, “sorry about all the crashes, just getting the job done”.


Posted on 04-10-2018 12:18 | By Kenworthlogger

What part of the document that states “The more serious the crash, the less likely it is for the truck driver to have the primary responsibility for the crash” do you not understand?


Posted on 04-10-2018 12:13 | By Kenworthlogger

If truck drivers were deemed not responsible when the more serious the crash, the less likely it is for the truck driver to have the primary responsibility for the crash, then clearly they are not at fault so is the better driver. It’s obvious mate. When clearly the truck driver cannot be blamed in the majority of multi vehicle accidents who is at blame then? A ghost? Clearly it’s the other drivers. The road toll is dominated by car driver at fault crash’s with innocent truck driver. Clearly you have never been thru the process of getting 4 levels of heavy vehicle license and going thru the driver testing process which weeds out bad driving. If you are a bad driver you won’t pass it. I’d expect someone like yourself that is ignorant of the process to assume anyone can pass. your comments about licensing are laughable.

Ludicrous Ken

Posted on 03-10-2018 16:04 | By Slim Shady

Wrong again Ken. There is nowhere on government reports that indicate truck drivers are better, just because they have been deemed responsible in 39% of fatal crashes involving trucks. You are mistakenly assuming it means the car driver was deemed responsible in the 61%. Very naive. There are heaps where there was not enough evidence to apportion blame. What is shown in reports is that truck drivers are at fault in >50% of all crashes where blame is apportioned. That would indicate they are not “better”. And logically, why would they be? They are merely Kiwi car drivers, driving a truck. You are correct in that there are many terrible Kiwi drivers. And they drive cars and trucks. The road toll is dominated by “death by truck” by the way. And they only account for 6% of road kms travelled. Which is you invented the “appreciation” PR crap.


Posted on 03-10-2018 09:27 | By Kenworthlogger

Ah finally you are having to admit that the figures say truck drivers are better drivers and like the document says The more serious the crash, the less likely it is for the truck driver to have the primary responsibility for the crash. As much as you have tried you cannot dispute the facts in the Ministry of transports fact sheet where I have copied and pasted the facts from so to keep sayinging it’s wrong or misunderstood is totally ludicrous. Anyone checking these facts will find they are correct. In any industry you will get cowboys, heavy haulage included. These figures are only about the bad drivers not the thousands of excellent ones of which you can’t seem to admit there are as your hatred blinds you. The NZ road toll is dominated by bad car drivers as its way to easy to get a class 1 license.

Your truck is spinning out of control Ken

Posted on 02-10-2018 09:54 | By Slim Shady

No, you’re wrong again Ken. It’s actually 21% primary responsibility for multi vehicle fatalities, 6% partial responsibility. But you are ignoring the 12% responsibility for single vehicle fatalities. I know you said non fatality crashes are not important but surely you cannot ignore the fatalities of your colleagues when they go off the road? So, 21+6+12=39%. As I said that is just where fault can be established for reporting purposes. Thank you for being responsible for >50% of ALL crashes involving trucks (and yes, all crashes matter) and nearly a quarter of the total road toll from just 6% of the total kms travelled on our roads. You are doing an awesome service and we should be grateful. But obviously we are not which is why you had to ask for appreciation. Who does that? It is cringeworthy, sick and nothing but a PR stunt. Up your game man.

Back it up a bit slim

Posted on 01-10-2018 17:58 | By Kenworthlogger

You said trucks account for so many fatalities, but actually if you read that document they dont. From the document it says For fatal crashes that involved a truck and another road user, the truck driver had the primary responsibility for about one-quarter (24 percent) of the crashes. So quite clearly you are wrong slim. Care to admit im right here again slim?

More facts Ken

Posted on 30-09-2018 17:06 | By Slim Shady

In truck versus car fatalities, 87% of the time it will be the car driver who goes west. Trucks are involved in 25% of fatal crashes. Trucks account for just 6% of total road kms travelled. And truck drivers are responsible for >50% of all crashes involving trucks. Which is not surprising. I’d expect it to around half as they are just you’re average Kiwi car driver. Which means they’re not very good, speed and take risks. Sobering and those figures far out way other developed countries. It would be nice if they were better than your average Kiwi driver, but sadly they are not, which is why trucks account for so many fatalities. Like I said at the start, maybe more effort required in upping standards and less time trying to run a PR stunt. But hey, bull**** seems to rule.


Posted on 29-09-2018 15:16 | By Kenworthlogger

Clearly this has gone to your head. Check out the govt paper truck crash facts. Check the paragraph under figure 4. I have cut and pasted the figures quoted from there so again your accusations of misunderstanding are bs. Now let’s see if you can admit that what I have cut and pasted here is what is quoted in the official govt paper truck crash facts...

Facts Ken

Posted on 29-09-2018 10:50 | By Slim Shady

You’ve misunderstood it, again. In fatal crashes, truck drivers are responsible, either partially or wholly, for 39%. Not blamed for 61%. You’re right, it is <50%. But as I said, this is only for fatal crashes where blame can be attributed. At the time of reporting there are many fatal crashes where blame is not established, legally, for it to be shown in the figures. So it doesn’t mean the car driver is responsible for 61%. There is the “missing chunk” where no blame has been established. You are correct, I do not know this figure. It may be more or less than the 39% truck fault? It isn’t reported. What is reported is that truck drivers are blamed for >50% of ALL crashes they’re involved in. I don’t need to twist anything. Maybe the truck industry does, which is why they invented the “appreciation week”.


Posted on 28-09-2018 13:31 | By Kenworthlogger

Let’s stick with facts. From the ministry of transport document “Truck crash FACTS” For fatal crashes that involved a truck and another road user, the truck driver had the primary responsibility for about one-quarter (24 percent) of the crashes. For minor injury crashes this figure was 48 percent. The more serious the crash, the less likely it is for the truck driver to have the primary responsibility for the crash. Nowhere in that document doesn’t it say any rubbish about blame not being proven or taking years to find conclusions, that my friend is your twisted spin. My truck like lots of modern trucks has a dash cam. The primary function is to stop people like your twisting the truth and telling lies.


Posted on 27-09-2018 09:35 | By Slim Shady

You hang your hat on the stats that say truck drivers were found to be at fault in <50% of fatal crashes. With "fender bender" crashes fault is readily established. So almost all of these crashes have assigned blame, and truck drivers are responsible for >50%. For fatal crashes, fault is not quickly established, if ever. It may take years to reach a court conclusion. It may never go to court. It may be left as no blame established because one is dead and the other driver does not admit to fault. Facts are often disputed. So, in the crash stats, a large chunk of fatal crashes have no blame proven at the time of the collection of data. So if trucks are assigned blame in, say 40% of the total, you would be very wrong to conclude that cars were at fault in 60%.


Posted on 26-09-2018 08:38 | By Kenworthlogger

It is very easy to work out who has crossed the centreline when the car is underneath the truck. The telltail marks left by by both vehicles on the road are obvious even to people like you. The SCU do the investigation so you cannot twist the facts to suit your agenda of truck hate.


Posted on 25-09-2018 08:37 | By Slim Shady

All crashes matter, even if injuries are minor, but you display the attitude of many very well. It is always hard to pin blame on exactly who crossed the centre line when one of those involved is under the truck.

Slim shady or is it Maildrop?

Posted on 23-09-2018 15:23 | By Kenworthlogger

Truck drivers are at fault in minor fender bender accident half the time which is correct. When you look at fatal accidents truck drivers are at fault in less than a third of these so this is the figures that really matter.. The more serious the crash, the less likely it is for the truck driver to have the primary responsibility for the crash... that’s what matters....


Posted on 21-09-2018 08:51 | By Slim Shady

According to government stats trucks are at fault in over 50% of all crashes that involve a truck. Which doesn’t surprise me. They are merely terrible Kiwi car drivers getting paid to drive a truck. They don’t flick a switch and become great drivers when they climb in a cab. In fact, as truck drivers are at fault in >50% of truck crashes, it can be argued that they actually become worse drivers. Probably more blasé as they feel safe. Or maybe just dumb and don’t moderate speed according to the vehicle they are in. Who knows? They certainly don’t judging by the comments.


Posted on 20-09-2018 08:27 | By Kenworthlogger

It’s a bit hard to argue with the fact from the crash scene photos. Quite clearly you could see the trucks were still on their side of the road and the cars we wedged underneath the truck. Cars need to stay on their side of the road....

Have we noticed?...

Posted on 19-09-2018 20:46 | By groutby

...a somewhat common theme here...everyone blaming everyone else, no-one taking tangible responsibility and the people who actually make change (relevant authorities) seemingly doing nothing...brilliant!


Posted on 19-09-2018 11:17 | By Slim Shady

Couldn’t agree more. Kiwi drivers are terrible. But last weeks fatalities are only part of the picture. The number of truck crashes is ridiculous and scary. I don’t feel the need to thank them.

Oh so true.

Posted on 19-09-2018 11:14 | By Tassie

it always a "Truck verses Car" accident never a "car takes on truck". They haven’t got a prayer when some idiot swerves in front of them.

Slim Shady

Posted on 19-09-2018 08:57 | By Kenworthlogger

Maybe you should look at all those fatals last week involving heavy vehicles. There was a very common theme.... cars on the wrong side of the road.. looks like it’s the Kiwi car driver that needs to upskill to me...

PR rubbish

Posted on 19-09-2018 07:16 | By Slim Shady

Maybe the industry should appreciate their drivers, and us, by upping driving and safety standards and not imposing gruelling schedules, thus putting their drivers and everybody else in jeopardy. Do one Ken.

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