As a driver trainer, Johnny Baxter of Temuka Transport has gained a new appreciation for the Volvo trucks he loves. Taking responsibility for the safety of other drivers comes with the job. “When drivers engage with the live feedback from Dynafleet Telematics they start to read the road better,” said Johnny. “They become more open to anticipation and more aware of hazards like small intersections and cyclists.
“We teach drivers to look ten cars in front – not just three or four – to really read the road. The Volvo Active Safety pack has made this even easier with lane change support, adaptive cruise control and collision warning with emergency braking. These are support features for a good driver. You may not need them – and they’re not designed to be relied upon. They are a back-up, because no-one’s perfect. I always say, there are good drivers and then there are Volvo drivers.”
Johnny has an impressive driving pedigree. Aged 17, he got his HGV licence through a Fulton Hogan cadetship. Ten years later, while driving for Temuka Transport, Johnny represented New Zealand in the on-road category of the Volvo Trucks Fuelwatch Challenge in Gothenburg, Sweden and took home the top prize. Earlier this year, Johnny moved from being a full-time driver to becoming a driver trainer for Temuka. He describes himself as a Volvo man from way back.
“With Volvo, you’re more than just a customer, you’re a mate. I fell in love with Volvo trucks when I drove one in 2007. I got my first brand new Volvo at the end of 2014 – with only dealer kms on it – an FH540 8x4 milk tanker. I haven’t looked back since.”
Johnny’s employer, Temuka Transport has a long-standing relationship with Volvo Trucks and New Zealand distributor, MTD Trucks and values the partnership that has been built over the past 32 years. Volvo Truck’s core focus on safety has been reinforced by the recent announcement that the Active Safety pack will be fitted as standard on all new trucks in the New Zealand market.
“It’s awesome to see Volvo backing their product 100%,” said Johnny. “They value their customers and want drivers to be as safe as possible on the roads. That’s something that both businesses have in common. At Temuka Transport, the management team don’t just know everyone’s name, they know their back story — their partner and kids —and genuinely want the best for them. The fact that we have over one hundred Volvo trucks in the fleet says a lot. The business could buy lower value trucks, but safety always comes first.”