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New Zealand’s Top Hino Technician – Heidi Inkster

The first ever Hino Trans-Tasman Technical Challenge was held recently at Hino Australia’s Training Centre in Sydney. The challenge in 2018 was part of Hino’s National Skills Contest Programme. Winner of the inaugural New Zealand Hino Skills Competition Heidi Inkster competed against Hino Australia’s winner Asa Pearson. Challenges saw them competing against the clock with just 30 minutes to find four faults on the new GH1A wide cab Hino. Each fault had its own time limit which, once lapsed was closed forcing both to move onto the next fault.

Asa and Heidi were so well matched that the competition ended in a draw, which was something Heidi wasn’t expecting. Heidi stated – *No, not at all. We drew, and they dragged it out like an American Idol episode! They had us standing on stage while they went through everything, and then they said, ‘Asa Pearson, out of a possible 27 points, scored 14 points … and Heidi Inkster … also scored 14 points. I was stoked, because that meant we both got to go to the car racing on the Gold Coast as our prize. *

Initially Heidi was set to compete against the 2017 Australian winner, but he was unavailable, so the 2016 winner Asa was called in.
*I’m not sure how long Asa has been working there but he is obviously good at what he does, and experienced. The Australians have a lot more experience with the new model Hino; they have a lot more of them and they’ve had them for longer so they’re more familiar with them. In New Zealand we had one and it was brand new; we’ve never actually had to pull it apart. *

Heidi and Asa both wore Go Pro cameras during the final in Australia and also had to compete in front of a crowd

*“I was familiar with the truck because I’d read a lot about it and I knew how a lot of the systems worked, but I’d never had to actually pull one apart in a hurry, so that was new. We had a lot shorter timeframe too, only half an hour, and there were four faults on the truck. You had five minutes for the first and if you hadn’t sorted it out within the five minutes you had to move on to the next fault. So, it was incredibly fast paced, and there was no time to really think about anything. It was very, very stressful. *

By winning the New Zealand Hino Skills Competition in August Heidi qualified for the Trans-Tasman Challenge and while 28 signed up for the challenge, Heidi was the only female, who was determined to do her best. The first part of the competition involved 4 online modules each with 20 questions – Heidi was number one with the modules and competed against Chito Dimaculangan from Truck Stops Mt Wellington in a practice test in the final, both were given two hours to find and fix three faults on the GH1A.

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