CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The best truck drivers in West Virginia will be in Pittsburgh, Pa. this week to put their driving skills to the test. The American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championships — also called the Super Bowl of Safety — begins Tuesday.
“It’s about safety,” Jan Vineyard, president of the West Virginia Trucking Association, told MetroNews of the event that is now in its 77th year. “It’s so personal for these guys because this is their job and this is what they do every day.”
More than 1,500 spectators are expected to be on hand for the competition that will include three different tests of a driver’s skills: a written skills exam, a pre-trip inspection of equipment and a driving course.
“They will go through a course that will have six different types of hazards or skills that have to be done and it’s all about using your head and your mind and your abilities to be the best driver and the safest driver that you can be on the road,” Vineyard said.
“Families and management from these companies go and it’s a first-class event. It’s like nothing you will ever see.”
In all, 426 men and women from all 50 states will be competing. The drivers representing West Virginia won in their individual classes during the West Virginia Trucking Association’s State Championships in June. They are a follows:
First Place Straight Truck – James Priddy, FedEx Freight, Charleston, WV
First Place 3-Axle Tractor Semi-trailer – Kevin Asbury, FedEx Freight, Leon, WV
First Place 4-Axle Tractor Semi-trailer – Tim Hodges, UPS Freight, Hurricane, WV
First Place 5-Axle Van – David “Craig” Warner, UPS Freight, Nitro, WV
First Place Tank Truck – Clarence Jenkins, Jr., UPS Freight, Poca, WV
First Place Flatbed – Kenneth Grimmett, Con-way Freight, Fayetteville, WV
First Place Twin Trailers – Don Young, FedEx Freight, Nitro, WV
First Place Sleeper Berth – William Adkins, FedEx Freight, South Point, OH
First Place Step Van – Stephen Estep, FedEx Ground, Marmet, WV
“It’s all about being to say, ‘I’m the best driver’ and these guys are thrilled to represent West Virginia,” said Vineyard.
The Super Bowl of Safety will continue through Saturday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.