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Con-way Freight's Langenhahn named national truck driving champion

Jeffrey Langehhahn holds his trophy awarded him as the 2014 Bendix Grand Champion at the annual American Trucking Associations National Truck Driving Championships. (Courtesy: AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS)

The Trucker News Services


PITTSBURGH — Jeffrey Langenhahn, a Con-way Freight professional truck driver based in Plover, Wis., Saturday was named the 2014 Bendix Grand Champion at the 77th annual National Truck Driving Championships sponsored by the American Trucking Associations.

“The National Truck Driving Championships competitors are the best of the best — the safest, most skilled and most knowledgeable among professional drivers,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said.  “I applaud all the competitors for their achievements and dedication to safety, and congratulate Jeffrey on his Grand Champion award which showcases his superior driving skill and commitment to safety.”

To win the coveted title, Langenhahn’s driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 426 other professional drivers from all across the United States in the “Super Bowl of Safety.”

 In route to his title, Langenhahn has logged 28 years as a driver, with over 1.9 million miles behind the wheel. He began competing in his state truck driving championships in 1997, and this is his fourth trip to the National Truck Driving Championships. Langenhahn succeeds Gary Harms, a professional truck driver with Walmart Transportation, as the National Grand Champion.

Also Saturday, David Guinn, a professional driver for Publix Super Markets Inc. from Mulberry, Fla. was named 2014 Rookie of the Year after competing in the Five-Axle division and  the North Carolina truck driving championship team won honors as the highest scoring state.

 The contestants were the state champions in nine truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven 653,677,080 accident-free miles.

In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center challenged their knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. The skills course tested drivers’ ability to judge distances, maneuver tight spaces, reverse, park, and position their vehicle exactly over scales, before barriers or around curves.

Jeffrey also won the individual twins driving competition.

Joining Langenhahn as champions in their respective classes were:

Straight truck: Brendan Sharp, FedEx Freight, Henderson, Colorado

Three-axle: Basher Pierce, FedEx Freight, Sophia, North Carolina

Four-axle: James Quarles, Walmart Transportation, (Laurens, South Carolina

Five-axle: Wayne Gootee, Walmart Transportation, Brooklyn, Michigan)

Sleeper berth class: Matt Awbrey, Walmart Transportation, Franklin, Georgia

Twins: Jeffrey Langenhahn, Con-way Freight, Plover, Wisconsin

Flatbed class:  Paul Brandon, FedEx Freight, Oxford, Connecticut

Tank truck class: Christopher Miller, United Petroleum Transportation, Cowetta, Oklahoma

Step van: Christopher Shaw, FedEx Express, Albuquerque, New Mexico

ATA’s Truck Driving Championships include top professional truck drivers from around the nation competing at state and regional levels to make it to the national competition in Pittsburgh Aug. 13-16. The NTDC annually attracts over 2,500 cheering friends, family, colleagues and spectators.

Here is a complete list of winners:

Grand champion:  Jeffrey Langenhahn, Con-way Freight

National rookie of the year: David Guinn, Publix Super Markets, Inc.

State team trophy: North Carolina

Vehicle condition award:  Jeffrey Payne, Reddaway

Neill Darmstadter professional excellence award:  Jeffrey Payne, Reddaway

Life-time volunteer award:  Sam Gillette

Straight truck class

First place: Brendan Sharp, FedEx Freight, Henderson, Colorado; second place: Rene Molinary, FedEx Express, Coral Springs, Florida; third place: Guy Frederickson, FedEx Ground, Kaukauna, Wisconsin

3-Axle Class

First place: Basher Pierce, FedEx Freight, Sophia, North Carolina; second place: Edward Pennington, FedEx Freight, Jacksonville, Florida; third place: Joseph Hicks, Con-way Freight, (Johnston, Rhode Island

4-Axle Class

First place: James Quarles, Walmart Transportation, Laurens, South Carolina; second place: Roy Garcia, Peninsula Truck Lines Otis Orchards, Washington; third place: Edward Carlson, FedEx Freight, Portland, Oregon

5-Axle Class

First place: Wayne Gootee, Walmart Transportation, Brooklyn, Michigan; second place: William Hill, Old Dominion Freight Line, Marsing, Idaho; third place: Richard Hill, Walmart Transportation, Conway, New Hampshire

Flatbed Class

First place:  Paul Brandon, FedEx Freight, Oxford, Connecticut; second place: Brian Walker, UPS Freight, Randleman, North Carolina; third place: Randall Stromlund, UPS Freight, Sparks, Nevada

Tank Truck Class

First place: Christopher Miller, United Petroleum Transports, Cowetta, Oklahome; second place: Gary Nickell, The Boeing Co., (Fox Island, Washington; third place: James Kroschel, US Foods, Maplewood, Minnesota

Twins Class

First place: Jeffrey Langenhahn, Con-way Freight, Plover, Wisconsin; second place: David Martinez, H-E-B, Natalia, Texas; third place: Jeffrey Payne, Reddaway, Cedar City, Utah

Sleeper Berth Class

First place: Matt Awbrey, Walmart Transportation, Franklin, Georgia; second place: Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System, Albuquerque, New Mexico; third place: Steve Elliston, Walmart Transportation, Sparta, Michigan;

Step Van

First place: Christopher Shaw, FedEx Express, Albuquerque, New Mexico; second place: Thomas Reinold, FedEx Express, Sutton, Massachusetts; third pPlace: Nick Frazier, FedEx Ground, Granby, Missouri

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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