National Truck Driving Champion Named


The 76th annual American Trucking Association National Truck Driving Championship and National Step Van Driving Championships were held in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 20-24. Gary Harms, a Walmart Transportation professional truck driver, was named the 2013 Bendix National Truck Driving Champion.

Based in Olathe, Kansas, Harms’ driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety made him outrank the other 422 professional truck drivers from all 50 states. He has logged more than 1.7 million miles over 30 years as a driver. Harms also won the individual 5-Axle Sleeper driving competition. Together, the contestants have driven over 600 million accident-free miles.

Drivers were tested on their expertise in the driving skills they use daily such as their knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. They were also tested in judging distances, maneuvering tight spaces, reversing, parking and positioning their vehicles over scales, before barriers and around curves.

The 2012 National Grand Champion was Don Logan, a FedEx Freight professional truck driver with FedEx Freight from Eskridge, Kansas.

The 2013 Rookie of the Year was Bruce Renton, a Holland driver from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Renton has over 900,000 accident-free miles in his 13 years behind the wheel.

The highest scoring honors went to the Kansas state truck driving championship team, with Wisconsin claiming second, followed by Vermont.

Other winners include:

Vehicle Condition Award: Don Logan, FedEx Freight, Eskridge, Kansas

Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award: Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System, Inc., Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Lifetime Volunteer Award: John Killilee, Meridian, Idaho

Perfect Score on Written Exam:
· Judd Adams, Con-way Freight, Straight Truck, Taylorville, Utah
· Ina Daly, Con-way Freight, Tank Truck, Avondale, Arizona
· Donald Logan, FedEx Freight, Flatbed, Eskridge, Kansas
· Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Twins, Fruitland, Idaho
· Jeffrey Thompson, FedEx Freight, 3-Axle, Olathe, Kansas

National Champions:

Straight Truck Class

1. James Carver, Maryland (Owings)
2. Judd Adams, Con-way Freight, Utah (Taylorville)
3. Daniel Jones, FedEx Freight, Kansas (Topeka)

3-Axle Class

1. Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express, Massachusetts (E. Longmeadow)
2. Eric Courville, FedEx Freight, Louisiana (Breaux Bridge)
3. Jason Harrington, Con-way Freight, North Dakota (Bismarck)

4-Axle Class

1. Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System, New Mexico (Rio Rancho)
2. Thomas Griffin, FedEx Freight, Connecticut (Wallingfod)
3. Jeremy Steger, Con-way Freight, Wisconsin (Fond du Lac)

5-Axle Class

1. George Johnson, UPS Freight, Virginia (Aylett)
2. Harold Snyder, North Carolina (King)
3. Ivan Nikolic, FedEx Ground, Illinois (Chicago)

Flatbed Class

1. Richard Wayne Crowder, FedEx Freight, Kentucky (Lanesville, Ind.)
2. Larry Rhein, FedEx Freight, Arkansas (Harrison)
3. Paul Brandon, FedEx Freight, Connecticut (Oxford)

Tank Truck Class

1. Ina Daly, Con-way Freight, Arizona (Avondale)
2. Tony Spero, ABF Freight System, Connecticut (Stratford)
3. Jason Matte, FedEx Freight, Mississippi (Flowood)

Twins Class

1. Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Idaho (Fruitland)
2. Alfonso Saavedra, Con-way Freight, California (Watsonville)
3. Barry Kraemer, Con-way Freight, Wisconsin (New Holstein)

Sleeper Berth Class

1. Gary Harms, Walmart Transportation, Kansas (Olathe)
2. Leo Flack, A. Duie Pyle, Pennsylvania (West Chester)
3. Timothy Sproles, UPS Freight, Tennessee (Bristol, Virginia)

Step Van

1. Justin Kingsley, FedEx Ground, Oklahoma (Tulsa)
2. Salvatore Vincelli, FedEx Ground, Pennsylvania (Allentown)
3. Michael Forchetti, FedEx Express, Maryland (Frederick)