Changing the game: “Your first entry is just as important as your fifth”

Every time a VISTA competition comes around, there are always a few key things that stand out. Whether that be certain rounds, live semi-finals, final or more importantly: individuals and teams.
Changing the game: “Your first entry is just as important as your fifth”
William Middleton and Ethan Brazel

The term “Game-Changer” holds a lot of importance, but everyone in VISTA could become a one. Whether you’re a leader of a team, the “first to do something” or striving to be better or bring positive change.

With that in mind, we wanted to highlight and talk to people that are doing just that. Changing the game when it comes to VISTA – whether the participants realise it or not.As we venture around the world in the Globetrotter (we’re sure you’ve seen it on social media!), we want to explore what being a part of VISTA means to the thousands of teams that have signed up this year.

So where have we stopped off at first?

G’day to Australia! The first visit of the Globetrotter is to VISTA 2024 Team Crackers, Ethan Brazel, James Horrod, Raymond Valoa and William Middleton who are based in Volvo Commercial Vehicles (VCV) Sydney. VCV Sydney has become an integral part of the VISTA competition with technicians from workshops entering almost every VISTA to date.

For 2023-24, the VISTA World Championship has seen the youngest team join the competition to compete in Team Crackers, backed by everyone at VCV Sydney.

We sat down with team member Ethan Brazel, technician, to discover more about why Ethan and his team entered the competition, what fresh ideas they can bring to VISTA, and what they’re hoping to get out of it.

What made you want to enter the technician world as a career? 


For me and my colleague (and teammate!) Will, we’ve grown up around trucks and we’ve always had an interest in them. Raymond (another member) started his career driving garbage trucks but we both found our way into the world of trucks in one way or another. I started with Volvo in my second year of apprenticeship after a year with the council and the other guys have all done their 4-year course with Volvo. 

What made you want to sign up for VISTA for the first time?


It was a bit of peer pressure from one of the guys in the workshop, he said just give it a go and see how you get on, you’re not losing anything at the end of the day. So fresh out of our apprenticeships we’ve decided to give it a go, so far so good. 

What are you looking to get out of VISTA?


We’re all just looking for more experience, we use the equipment every day and our supervisors highly encourage us to use the system to make sure that we’re used to it and we’re learning. They don’t want us to just know it on a basic level, they want us to know as much as possible, and understand completely how Volvo trucks work. We’re surrounded by some of the best mechanics and that does rub off on us and pushes us to want to do better too.

How important do you think it is for younger generations to partake and make their mark on competitions such as VISTA?


Everyone is learning from the competition, so your first entry is just as important as your fifth time. In the first round I learnt things I didn’t already know; especially going into electric vehicles. In the next five years we’ll be surrounded by electric vehicles so it’s good that we learn about them, and the system changes needed to deliver that for our customers. 

What new strategies do you think you can bring to the competition?


I think we can bring a fresh mindset, we’re a pretty young team and we’re all just willing and open to learning. So, we can be agile in our approach and adapt as needed throughout the different rounds. 

Do you have any words of encouragement for anyone debating entering VISTA for the first time?


Just do it, I mean, what have you got to lose? 

James Horrod, Raymond Valoa, Ethan Brazel and William Middleton

Good luck to Team Crackers as the competition progresses!