INDIANAPOLIS — Roland Bolduc, a driver for FedEx Express, was named Bendix Grand Champion Friday, Aug. 19, at the conclusion of the 85th National Truck Driving and Step Van Driving Championships (NTDC).
Bolduc, competing in the sleeper berth category, bested a field of 408 drivers with a combined total of nearly 730 million accident-free miles to claim the coveted title of Grand Champion at this year’s Super Bowl of Safety.
“Congratulations to Roland and the great team at FedEx for being crowned Bendix Grand Champion,” said American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Chris Spear. “It has been a long road for these drivers to get here, and to emerge as the best of a truly elite group is a tremendous honor. Roland’s commitment to safety and professionalism is an example of what this industry and this event are truly about.”
This is Bolduc’s second Bendix Grand Championship; he also won the coveted title in 2017. A resident of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, he has accrued more than 2.5 million safe driving miles in his more than 40-year-long career. Bolduc was named an America’s Road Team Captain in 2000.
In addition, ATA crowned Tyler Tollefson, also from FedEx Freight, as 2022 Rookie of the Year. To compete as an NTDC rookie, a driver must be a first-time competitor in his or her state competition and advance to nationals. This year there were 22 rookies competing at the national event.
ATA also recognized the state of North Carolina with the NTDC Team Championship; five drivers from the state made it to the finals. New York finished second in the team competition, and Connecticut finished third.
The National Truck Driving Championships are made possible by dozens of NTDC committee members and volunteers who judge the course, serve as liaisons to the drivers, conduct course walk-throughs and perform other key tasks. As such, ATA and ATA’s Safety Management Council honor one volunteer each year with the Sam Gillette Volunteer of the Year Award. This year’s Sam Gillette Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Michelle Wells of the South Dakota Trucking Association.
In addition, Anthony Spero, a professional driver with ABF Freight System Inc. was recognized with the Neil Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award as the competitor “who most exemplifies all the best attributes of a professional truck driver.”
“NTDC was a tremendous success thanks to all the drivers, staff and volunteers who made it happen,” said ATA Chairman Harold Sumerford Jr., president of J&M Tank Lines Inc. “After two long years, it was great to be back and see this competition in person, getting to observe the professionalism and dedication to safety of these drivers was a great privilege.”
Champions from each of the nine vehicle classes were also announced. Joining Bolduc on the list of national champions are:
- Wilbert Vano, XPO Logistics Inc. (New Jersey)
- Chris Poynor, XPO Logistics Inc. (Washington)
- Brian Walker, TForce Freight (North Carolina)
- Martin McMahon, RIST Transport (New York)
- Miguel Corral, UPS (Illinois)
- David Rohman, FedEx Express (North Carolina)
- David Guinn, Publix Super Markets Inc. (Florida)
- Timothy Banasiak, UPS (Illinois)
- Alphonso Lewis, Yellow (Alabama)
- Eric Ramsdell, Walmart Transportation LLC (Arizona)
- Raymond Waage, FedEx Freight (New York)
- Kenneth Rageth, FedEx Freight (Wyoming)
Sleeper Berth Division
- Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express (Connecticut)
- Eric Courville, FedEx Freight (Louisiana)
- Charles White, Walmart Transportation LLC (Indiana)
Straight Truck Division
- Christopher Shaw, FedEx Express (New Mexico)
- Michael Bills, FedEx Express (North Carolina)
- Jesse Benkert, FedEx Ground (Kentucky)
Tank Truck Division
- Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight (Colorado)
- Heladio Fernandez, FedEx Freight (Oregon)
- Dennis Shirar, Walmart Transportation LLC (Indiana)
- Damien Hebert, XPO Logistics Inc. (Louisiana)
- Leslie Smyth, FedEx Freight (Florida)
- Jeffrey Langenhahn, XPO Logistics Inc. (Wisconsin)
Step Van Division
- Gregory Long, FedEx Express (Maryland)
- Ceth Christensen, UPS (Illinois)
- Jerome De La Cruz, FedEx Express (Alaska)
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.