Hino Knights is an elite group of salespeople within the brand’s dealer network who not only excel at their jobs, but who make meaningful contributions to the communities in which they operate.

Launched in 2011, the group comprises 10 Hino Knights – including three sales managers and seven sales executives – four of who were inducted last year: Jaco Uys of Hino Middelburg; Cecil Pillay of Hino Pinetown and Marlan Chetty and Verneshen Naidoo, each of Hino Shelly Beach.

Hino South Africa recently announced the Hino Knight of the Year and the runner-up, known as the Robin Hood Knight of the Year. The top award went to Faan van der Westhuizen of Hino Limpopo, while the Robin Hood Knight for 2016 was awarded to Francois Drury of Hino Kuilsrivier.

The honour marks the second time that Van der Westhuizen has received the honour, having originally won it in 2013. He has been involved directly and indirectly with the trucking business since he started working in his father’s business in 1972.

After a spell of 20 years selling agricultural and related equipment he joined Hino Polokwane in 2006 and has been with the dealership ever since. He says he sells between 80 and 100 trucks a year and has a customer satisfaction rating of over 98%.

Faan’s focus on the community front is the provision of housing at shelters for the very poor. He is involved in several of these projects in Limpopo.

“Many of these people have had to send their children away as they cannot afford to care for them,” he explains. “It is an emotional calling and providing a reasonable form of shelter for those in extreme need is very rewarding.”

Drury, the Robin Hood Knight of the Year for 2016, has been a truck sales executive for the past 14 years, spending four years at Hino Parow and 10 years at Hino Kuilsrivier. He sells between 46 and 70 trucks a year and was Hino Knight of the Year in 2012. Subsequently, he has been the Robin Hood Knight of the Year each successive year.

Being a Hino Knight goes much further than just being a good salesman. Another important aspect is ensuring customers are given exceptional service, with the cut-off being a minimum rating of 96,5%. Drury has had his personal Customer Satisfaction Index running at 100% for the past two years.

Francois, who lives in Durbanville and is married with a nine-year-old daughter, is community-minded – his concern for his fellow beings very much a “way of life”. His involvement with the community extends from helping the poor, elderly and ill in areas where he lives and works to assisting an Aids orphanage in Vredenburg.