First Woman To Take National Driving Championship Titleby Jana Ritter - Published: 9/26/2013
Con-way Freight, a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier and subsidiary of Con-way, Inc., recognized Ina Daly, a veteran driver sales representative from the company's Phoenix service center, as the first woman in history to capture first place in a competition class at the trucking industry's safety and skills competition, the American Trucking Associations' National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC).
The company honored Daly for her championship performance in the tank truck class with a special ceremony at its Phoenix service center. During the ceremony, she was presented with a personalized Con-way Freight tractor and a special monetary award in recognition of her milestone achievement.
“Ina accomplished what no woman has in three-quarters of a century,” said Greg Lehmkuhl, president of Con-way Freight. “Her commitment to safety and professional excellence serves as the gold standard for which every driver across the country can aspire.”
Daly's driving prowess is matched by her thorough knowledge of her profession. She was only one of five competitors, across all divisions, who earned a perfect score on the written exam portion of the championship competition. She accomplished the same feat during the 2010 championships.
Daly is a 10-time Arizona state driving champion and also has served as a captain on America's Road Team, the public outreach program sponsored by American Trucking Associations. Road Team captains are the industry's most accomplished professionals and serve as ambassadors for safety, spreading the word about safety on the highway and sharing the road with trucks. She is also a Con-way Freight Distinguished Driver, a special designation earned by the company's safest drivers for reaching 1, 2 or 3 million miles without an accident.
At the National Truck-Driving Championships, competitors in their respective classes are tested on their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition challenged their knowledge of safety, rules and regulations, equipment, and the industry. The skills course tested drivers' ability to judge distances, maneuver in tight spaces, reverse, park and position their vehicle exactly over scales, before barriers or around curves.
In this year's competition, Con-way Freight fielded a total of 66 U.S. state champions from 29 states. To qualify for U.S. state and national competitions, drivers must maintain an accident-free driving record for the previous year. At the national competition, drivers face testing in three areas: a timed written exam, a pre-trip inspection test and a driving skills test. Each driver competes in one of nine equipment classes: three-axle, four-axle, five-axle, five-axle flatbed, five-axle sleeper, step van, straight truck, tank truck and twins.
The NTDC brings together hundreds of the nation's most skilled and accomplished commercial truck drivers each year.