ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Next week, American Trucking Associations is set to welcome more than 420 of the trucking industry’s top professional truck drivers to Orlando for the 80th annual National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships.

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight.Trucking Moves America Forward. (PRNewsFoto/American Trucking Associations)

“Safety and precision will be the focus of these impressive professional truck drivers during this week in Orlando as they compete for honors at the National Truck Driving Championships,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Truck drivers work their entire careers and practice for moments like this to showcase their safety skills and compete among friends.”

The National Truck Driving Championships open August 9 with competitors taking a walk-through of the driving course and registering for the different class events. From there, competitors will go on to compete in three phases of competition: a written examination testing background knowledge of rules and procedures pertinent to the trucking industry, a vehicle inspection to test competitors’ ability to detect vehicle malfunctions, and a driving skills test where competitors are graded on their ability to operate a truck through a series of obstacles.

Over three days, 428 competitors from all 50 states, including 35 first-time participants, representing 97 companies will compete for honors in one of eight different classes and the distinction of being crowned National Truck Driving Championships Bendix Grand Champion.

“These championships are a great spectacle and I couldn’t be more proud to interact with drivers from all corners of the country,” said ATA Chairman Kevin Burch, President of Jet Express Inc. “The drivers take this event very seriously and practice and study year-round in preparation for the competition. Their dedication to their craft is really remarkable and representative of the trucking industry’s strong commitment to safety.”   

The competition concludes on Aug. 12 with the announcement of the National Truck Driving Championships Bendix Grand Champion, along with the winners of each vehicle class and awards for the top performing state delegation, rookie of the year, and other recognitions.

“We are very proud of our team of South Dakota champions and wish them the best as they compete on the national stage,” said South Dakota Trucking Association President Myron Rau.  

The Allied Committee for the Trucking Industry is a premiere sponsor of the 2017 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships, taking place Aug. 9-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Competitors representing the state of South Dakota include:

Flatbed – Andrew A. Hanson, TBI, Inc.
Five-Axle – Robert E. Hoffman, K & J Trucking, Inc.
Straight Truck – Daniel S. Norgaard, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.
Three-Axle – Matthew L. Minor, XPO Logistics, Inc.
Four-Axle – Seth Sigafoos, MCT Transportation LLC
Tank Truck – Troy J. Swenson, FedEx Freight
Twins – Wade L. Wagemann, YRC Freight
Sleeper Berth – Michael S. Whitehead, FedEx Freight   

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on FacebookTrucking Moves America Forward.

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SOURCE American Trucking Associations