Making Driving Safer – Grady Stevens
“My family and I are out there on the roads along with all of the vehicles that we come in to contact with as Vehicle Inspectors. If we don’t get our job right, we’re potentially putting an unsafe vehicle on the same roads that my family use. There can’t be better motivation than that to make sure we get it right”.
VINZ Central Regional Manager, Grady Stevens had an interest in vehicles from a young age. Growing up in Motueka, Grady has fond memories of his Grandfather, who was qualified mechanic and owned an engine reconditioning business. Grady’s Father Murray was also into cars. He was always buying and selling the beauties he’d done up! So, we guess you could say motoring is in Grady’s blood.
At aged seventeen, Grady left school to pursue his apprenticeship as an automotive technician at Pioneer Motors in Motueka. He worked on all makes and models of cars, small trucks, buses and occasionally farm equipment. Used Japanese imports had only just started to come into New Zealand at the time, so the highlights from some of his early days were working on vehicles, such as, Hillman Hunters, Morris 1300s, and Austin Maxis, “which would be enough to put anyone off the trade” laughs, Grady.
Over his 30 year career, Grady has held numerous positions in the mechanical trade working as a Technician for Ford “aka the dark side for a Holden fan like me”, says Grady, to a management role with competitor Automotive Association (AA), before taking up his current position at VINZ based in Nelson.
Taking up his role at VINZ, as Regional Manager, Grady’s core focus shifted from vehicle servicing and repairs to inspection services. Grady say’s “having held authorities and extensive knowledge of the VIRM and its application, helped me to succeed in the role”. Being an NZTA Approved Vehicle Inspector is most important to Grady, as it allows “me to contribute to ensuring that all vehicles being operated on our roads meet the safety requirements”.