The American Trucking Associations (ATA) on Wednesday kicked off the 79th National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships in Indianapolis.
More than 430 professional truck drivers from all 50 states are competing at this week’s National Truck Driving Championships. With millions of safe-driving miles behind the wheel, the field of drivers compete in one of eight different classes, plus step van, for top honors and the chance to be named the 2016 Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion.
“State champions from across the country are here in Indianapolis to showcase their safe-driving skills, knowledge of the transportation industry and they are giving the motoring public a chance to see how serious the trucking industry takes safety,” said ATA Chairman Pat Thomas, senior vice president of state government affairs at UPS. “All of the drivers here are strong ambassadors for our industry and we wish them all the best of luck during these championships.”
The championships consist of three challenge phases, with each phase designed to test the competitors’ abilities in a different way. The three components of the championships taking place over the next few days are: a pre-trip inspection, a written examination and a driving course where participants navigate obstacles and tight turns.
After the first two days of competition, finalists in each class will then test their skills on a championship course. Competition concludes Saturday with the crowning of the 2016 Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion, as well as with awards for drivers in every vehicle class and for the top state delegation.
“All of the truck drivers on America’s highways are tremendously skilled in their work, but the drivers competing this week are the best of the best — dedicated to improving their abilities and knowledge of the industry,” said ATA First Vice Chairman Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express Inc. “They strive for excellence and push one another to do the same, knowing that by practicing for this competition, they’re making the roads a safer place for the motoring public.”
ACT 1 is a premier sponsor of the 2016 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships, taking place through Saturday at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.