After being crowned as New Zealand’s top Hino technician, Heidi Inkster has proven herself to be best-in-class in all of Australasia.
On the 23rd of August Heidi travelled to Australia to compete in the trans-Tasman stage of the competition, facing off against the host country's best, Asa Pearson.
The competition was held as a part of Hino Australias 2018 National Skills Contest, and in the end, the competitors were so similar in skill that the competition resulted in a draw.
"I thought it was a joke when they announced the draw,” said Inkster who felt she was "up against it” given the size of the competition in Australia. "I really noticed a step up in pressure but made sure I took care of the basics and built from there,” Heidi says.
The challenge saw Inkster and Pearson compete against each other simultaneously, and against the clock, with an allocation of 30 minutes to find four faults on the new GH1A wide cab Hino. Each fault had a time limit, which once lapsed, was closed forcing the competitors to move to the next fault.
"Normally you have time to think about a job but it was really interesting to see how you go under real-time pressure,” said Heidi.
Simon Wilson, Hino New Zealand’s technical support manager, travelled with Heidi and noted "this is the first time a New Zealand Hino technician has competed against an Australia technician and we couldn’t be more proud of Heidi - both in terms of her skills during the competition and how she has represented Hino New Zealand and our after sales partner Truckstops”.
When asked what advice Heidi would offer other Truckstops technicians looking to enter New Zealand’s competition next year, Heidi said "Give it a go and give it heaps! I actually learnt tonnes from the online component leading up to the final so even if you don’t make it through you will still benefit from the experience”.
Heidi can now relax while attending the Gold Coast 600 on the 21st of October 2018 before heading to Hino Japan to attend an awards ceremony next year.