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Young Australian Truck Driver 2010 has been announced.

West Australian professional truck driver Rick Lockwood has won the title of Australia’s Best Young Truck Driver.

The 26-year-old from Perth outperformed 11 other national finalists in the 2010 Scania Young Australian Truck Driving Competition, in a program testing on-road driving skills, manoeuvring skills, knowledge of road rules, driver attitude and ability to be an industry role model, at Flemington Racecourse today.

The drivers, all under 40, were awarded for demonstrating superior knowledge, good judgement in traffic and fuel-efficient driving skills, with a focus on calm and safe driving over speed.

Winner Rick Lockwood scored 18,200 out of a possible 25,000 points and was presented with $10,000, a Castrol $4000 travel voucher and a Swedish Orrefors Crystal Glass trophy.

Runner-up was Nick Hornby of Darwin, Northern Territory, and third Jarrad Jeffs of Melbourne, Victoria.

Scania Australia Managing Director Roger McCarthy said Lockwood proved he had the right skills and attitude to be named Australia’s Best Young Truck Driver.

“Lockwood is an all-rounder with exceptional knowledge of what it takes to be a professional driver and is someone who can be an ambassador for young people in our industry by sharing his dedication and professional approach to his work,” Mr McCarthy said.

Lockwood who first began driving in 2000 said: “It is quite unbelievable. It is very special to receive recognition in an industry which does not give it to very many people.

“I hope I can use my position to help educate young people especially 16 and 17 year olds about trucks and how to behave around them and support them to be recruited into the industry”.

Lockwood, who turns 27 next month, first began driving in Tamworth, New South Wales, moving race horses with his father from Sydney to Port Macquarie.

“I would not be here today if it was not for Jim Pearson Transport who gave me my first break; especially Paul Jones and Jim Pearson Junior.

“Now I’m looking forward to starting my own business one day, but for the short term it is back to Perth and heading to Port Hedland next week”. Lockwood said he may use some of the prize money to visit his wife Amy’s homeland, Ireland. “But first it is to absorb what I have achieved”.

First held in Australia in 2007, the Scania Young Australian Truck Driving is affiliated with the worldwide Scania Driver competition, which has been taking place in 28 countries throughout 2010 and is expected to attract around 45,000 drivers, making it the largest of its kind. More than 400 entered the Australian competition.

“The competition plays an important part in highlighting best driving practises which will translate to safer driving and improved road safety conditions for all road users,” Mr McCarthy said.

“These continue as challenging times for the Australian transport industry. There is uncertainty in the market, a changing political environment, potential for rising fuel costs, increasingly congested driving conditions and ongoing environmental concerns.

“That is why the Scania YATD 2010 competition is firmly focused on promoting road safety at the highest level and economical driving.”