WELL DONE: Cummins heavy vehicle apprentice Zoe Bull of Leichhardt is a finalist of the Snap-On Tools Apprentice of the Year.
WELL DONE: Cummins heavy vehicle apprentice Zoe Bull of Leichhardt is a finalist of the Snap-On Tools Apprentice of the Year. David Nielsen

Keeping big rigs in tip top shape

SHE may be small in stature, but Zoe Bull is one of the industry's best up-and-coming young guns when it comes to repairing some pretty big engines.

The 24-year-old Leichhardt resident and heavy vehicle apprentice has been announced as the only female finalist in the 2015 Snap-on Tools Apprentice of the Year.

The awards search for Australia and New Zealand's top apprentices, with a record number of entrants applying for this year's competition.

Ms Bull, who works at Cummins in Carole Park, said she was thrilled to be one of 20 finalists who made the final cut.

"It felt pretty amazing to hear I was in the finals," she said.

"I love the work in general. I absolutely love the feeling you get when you see the trucks leave after you've fixed them.

"Being one of the only girls in the awards made me really determined to prove myself and get up there with the boys."

The apprentice, originally from Tasmania, spent four years working in the Australian Navy before following her passion for heavy vehicle mechanics.

"I originally applied for a parts position at Cummins before they suggested I might like life in the workshop," she said.

"In the Navy I was on the tools as a marine technician.

"Now I do everything from diagnostics and small and large engine repairs to complete engine rebuilds."

The third year apprentice is no stranger to success, having already successfully won heats at the CVIAQ apprentice challenge at the Brisbane Truck Show.

Should she win the Snap-on Tools top prize, Ms Bull has already picked out her chosen colour of tool box that forms part of the prize pack.

She said she wanted a pink tool box, perfectly fitting in with her role as a successful female apprentice in a challenging work environment.

The high profile award is in its seventh year, with hundreds of apprentices across heavy vehicle, marine, aviation and automotive trades expected to be vying for the top prize.

A judging panel made up of respected heavyweights, including V8 Supercar Legend Michael Caruso, will assess entries. Representatives from the Australian Army, Auto Skills Australia, the Motor Traders Association and the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association make up the five-star panel.

The judges will be on the lookout for well-rounded and informed apprentices who have superior technical ability and are excelling in their knowledge, skills and ability.

The overall winner will take home a prize package valued over $12,500, including a Snap-on Tools product pack featuring all the essentials to set up an apprentice and a Flat Black 40-inch Roll Cab to store their growing tool collection in.

Ms Bull's workshop manager, Andrew Shard, said he was confident the young tradie could take out the awards.

"We weren't surprised at all when we heard Zoe reached the finals," he said.

"She's a driven, motivated member of our team who is also a really great mentor.

"I'd like to see her win. She's a real asset to our business."

The winners of the 2015 Snap-on Tools Apprentice of the Year awards will be announced of November 5.



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