Truck drivers gather in Minneapolis for driving championships
Carl Krites, a driver for Con-way Freight, displays the trophy he earned as grand champion of the 2011 National Truck Driving Championships. (Courtesy: ATA)
The Trucker News Services
MINNEAPOLIS — Four hundred and twenty-six professional truck drivers from across the U.S. begin competition here Tuesday in the 2012 National Truck Driving and National Step Van Driving Championships.
The "Super Bowl of Safety" is hosted annually by the American Trucking Associations.
This year celebrates the 75th anniversary of the National Truck Driving Championships.
The national contestants are state champions from all 50 states.
States send winners from each class of competition — from 18-wheeled five-axle sleepers to tank trucks to twin trailers to straight trucks — eight competing classes in all with an affiliated competition for step vans.
THE RECENT INCREASE IN FREIGHT VOLUME MEANS NEW JOB OPPORTUNITIES ON GOTRUCKERS.COM. CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS.
The 20th annual North American Inspectors Championship is taking place alongside the National Truck Driving Championships.
Drivers will compete for four days, challenging their driving skills, and knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry.
Participants begin arriving here Tuesday with written exams scheduled for Wednesday.
ATA’s Chairman Dan England, Chairman, C.R. England, will kick-off the first day of driving with the ceremonial Breakfast of Champions on Thursday.
Drivers then head to the competition course, which recreates real world obstacles that drivers encounter daily, such as a rear and/or front line stop, a scales stop, a right or left turn, parallel parking, or straight line driving through a diminishing clearance.
Four classes will drive Thursday and five classes will take to the obstacle course Friday. Drivers will also be tested on their ability to identify and name vehicle defects during the Pre-Trip Inspection portion of the competition, as well as through knowledge of safety, security, fire safety, first aid, and health and wellness during an hour long written exam.
When it is all over on Saturday, August 11, the U.S. will have a new Grand Champion, as well as individual champions in each class, and a state champion team.
Bendix is the sponsor of the Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion award.
The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find more news and analysis from The Trucker, and share your thoughts, on Facebook.