Truck drivers save a life every day, says driving instructor and truck fan Grant Ingersoll.
"When you see what people do around a truck, you'd be amazed.
"Every day I'd say that a truck driver is saving someone's life in one way or another," says the driving training specialist for Master Drive Services.
"You ask an average truck driver, ‘what's happened today?' and you'd be amazed."
Scanning and being aware of what's going on around them is a habit Grant works hard to instil in the truck drivers he trains.
Grant is passionate about road safety. So there are no surprises that he is happy to be among the volunteers giving up their free time to organise the Marlborough Truck and Trade Show 2012 at Riverlands Roadhouse this Sunday.
Friends of Riverlands School committee chairwoman Karen Gibson said the show is the major annual fundraiser for Riverlands School and money raised will go towards a playground and IT equipment.
As well as trucks big and small, a logging truck and a removal truck complete with house on the back, the show will feature a raft of activities, food stalls and a garage sale stall.
Paintball, smash the car, face painting, crazy hair and two bouncy castles will keep the kids entertained.
The 2012 Marlborough/Nelson Excavator Competition will also be held on the day.
Grant, who was a driving trainer in the air force before joining Master Drive Services, hopes some serious safety messages will sink in while people are having fun.
"Basically the reason I'm involved is to raise the profile of trucks and truck drivers," he says.
"For a lot of people their only exposure to trucks is when they are stuck behind one and can't see around them."
At last year's show, he parked his car behind a truck and encouraged people to climb into the cab to see if they could see the car from the driver's seat.
The message was simple; if you're driving behind a truck and can't see the mirrors, the truck driver can't see you.
He reminds people to respect the two-second rule for following distance, and to increase that if the conditions demand it.
The average truck driver will pull over to let you pass - in fact, they're trained to do so - but the public needs to be aware that a fully-laden truck needs a decent stretch of road to pull over, he says. It's not as easy as pulling over in a car.
A lot of people also don't realise how much room trucks need to turn, and can put themselves in danger if they try to cut up the inside of a turning truck.
In the lead-up to the show, Grant visited Te Kupenga preschool at Omaka to give the children the chance to climb into his truck, and share safety tips.
It's important they understand just how big trucks are, he says.
Of course, the children loved it and thought it was great fun. They were happily unaware of the very important reason they were learning about how to stay safe around trucks.
"I've met drivers who've run over kids. They are devastated by it," Grant says.
What? Marlborough Truck and Trade Show
When? 10am till 3pm Sunday, September 30; but Truck Parade starts at 8.30am from Bunnings via Nelson St to Riverlands Roadhouse
Where? Riverlands Roadhouse
How much? Gold coin donation to raise money for Riverlands School
- The Marlborough Express