Above: Matt Gillatt is pictured receiving the award from Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus director, Michael May.
New Zealander Matt Gillatt has taken out the Mercedes-Benz Truck Australia/New Zealand Technician of the Year award.
The 31-year- old from Keith Andrews Trucks service centre in Whangarei was the winner in an extremely tight contest of the best Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle technicians in Australia and New Zealand.
His prize is an all-expenses- paid trip to Germany to visit the massive truck production plant in Worth, attend the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover and visit the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart.
Iain Dorward, from Daimler Trucks Adelaide, was second and he also won a trip to Germany. The 32-year- old from Ireland did his apprenticeship at a Mercedes-Benz dealership in England before moving to Australia in January 2014.
Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus Australia and New Zealand director, Michael May, said he was impressed by the quality of the finalists.
“These five finalists are our best certified Mercedes-Benz Truck diagnostic technicians, the cream of the crop, and it was a fantastic effort from all of them to reach the final,” he said.
“The competition was close and all of them showed great skill throughout the day, but Matt emerged as the winner, which is a great achievement.”
May says the competition was a reminder that Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus valued its technicians and encouraged skill development.
He added that the role of truck technicians is even more important as the company prepares to launch the new range of Mercedes-Benz trucks.
“We want to keep our customers moving, to keep earning money, that is the bottom line, and our network of highly skilled technicians is absolutely critical. Honouring the best of best with this competition is one way we can show our gratitude.”
The Mercedes-Benz Truck Technician of the Year competition is a one-day event designed to test many different skills. Each competitor was given a practical test which required them to detect a fault in a Mercedes-Benz truck and develop a plan to fix it. They also sat a detailed theory test and worked together with other competitors to solve a problem in a team environment.