LBRCA Young Driver of the Year: Return of the mullet

By: Cobey Bartels


Three of Australia’s most promising young truck operators came together in Griffith for the annual Livestock, Bulk & Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA) conference, where only one would be crowned Young Driver of the Year

 

Winners are grinners! Left to right: LBRCA President Lynley Miners, Luke Farrell, winner Steven Richardson, Rick Hetherington, and Safework NSW Director Regional-South Lisa Foley

Despite the fact only one would take out the title of top young gun, scoring them a $5,000 trip to the USA, the camaraderie between the finalists was inspiring in the lead-up to the announcement as the men shook hands and wished each other luck.

Owner of one of Australian transport’s most impressive mullets and proud operator of a Kenworth T909, 23-year-old Steven Richardson took out the title just two years into his professional driving career.

In his acceptance speech, Steven said he was honoured to get the recognition so early on in his driving career and he explained that driving trucks was what he’d always wanted to do.

It all started for Steven when he decided to get behind the wheel after finishing his diesel mechanic apprenticeship, spending his first 18 months driving with Hehirs Transport in Rand and then bringing it in-house to drive alongside his father at Richardson & Sons Haulage in Henty.

Owner//Driver sat down with Steven the morning after the award ceremony and after a few celebratory beers, the win had sunk in!

"I’ve always wanted to be a driver so this is a big achievement for me," he tells us.

When asked what advice he’d give young people considering a career in trucking, Steven sung the praises of the job and the freedom that comes with driving professionally.

"You can earn a good wage and you get to see a lot of the countryside. You’ve got freedom doing this," he says.

"Be prepared to be away from home, though!"

The long term goal for Steven? He says he’ll probably end up going out on his own and running his own operation, but he’s assured us he won’t undercut his old man!

"I’ll probably end up buying my own truck and running my own business.

"It’ll definitely be a Kenworth!"

LBRCA President Lynley Miners kicked the competition off in 2014 and says this year the judging was closer than it’s ever been.

"It was 215 points to the winner and the runners up got 212 each...It’s been close before but not to that degree," he says.

As a result Lynley decided to send the two runners up on a trip to the Brisbane Truck Show, as a way of celebrating just how high the quality of the finalists was.

"Yes there was one winner, but with the quality of the other blokes, I just thought i’d throw it out there and give them something."

Lynley says he’s stoked with how the award has progressed across the last five years and admits he was taken back this year by the passion and calibre of the finalists.

"It was amazing. You saw Steven well up a little bit and because it’s so dear to me, i got a little emotional myself."

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