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
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
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
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
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
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;
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
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