2013 National Truck Driving Championship Winnersby Jana Ritter - Published: 8/26/2013
Gary Harms, a Walmart Transportation driver was named the 2013 Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion at the annual NTDC competition held last week in Salt Lake City. Contestants were state champions in nine truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven more than 600 million accident-free miles.
In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside the Salt Palace 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
Harms’ driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped more than 400 U.S. professional truck drivers at NTDC, the annual “Super Bowl of Safety” sponsored by American Trucking Associations. Harms, who said he didn’t expect to win the coveted best all-around driver award, said he carries cones in his truck and often goes to work an hour early to practice in the Wal-Mart parking lot. “This competition is all about being prepared and being safe every day,” Harms said.
"Gary truly represents what is best about our industry," ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. "To win the title of Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion, Gary bested more than 420 of America's safest, most professional, drivers and he and his company, Walmart Transportation, should be congratulated for their efforts."
Gary also won the individual 5-Axle Sleeper driving competition. Joining Gary as champions in their respective classes:
Three-Axle: MA - Roland Bolduc, Fedex Express, East Longmeadow, Mass.
Four-Axle: NM - Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System, Inc., Rio Rancho, N. Mex.
Five-Axle: VA - George Johnson, UPS Freight, Aylett, Va.
Flatbed Class: KY - Richard Wayne Crowder, FedEx Freight, Lanesville, Ind.
Sleeper Berth Class: KS - Gary Harms, Walmart Transportation, Olathe, Kan.
Straight Truck: MD - James Carver, Owings, Md.
Tank Truck Class: AZ - Ina Daly, Con-way Freight, Avondale, Ariz.
Twins: ID: Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Inc., Fruitland, Idaho
Step Van: OK: Justin Kingsley, FedEx Ground, Tulsa, Okla.
Bruce Renton, a driver for Holland from Grand Rapids, Mich., was named 2013 Rookie of the Year after competing in the Straight Truck division. Renton has 13 years behind the wheel and over 900,000 accident-free miles.
The Kansas state truck driving championship team won honors as the highest scoring state team, with Wisconsin coming in second, followed by Vermont.
A full list of award winners can be found on the ATA's website http://www.trucking.org