15 ABF drivers bound for National Truck Driving Championships

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ABF Freight System is sending 15 drivers from 10 states to the 69th National Truck Driving Championships, scheduled for Aug. 15-19 in New Orleans. Drivers earn the right to compete in the national championships by winning state driving championships and by maintaining an accident-free driving record for the past year.

“ABF’s excellent reputation for safety and security, backed by an unmatched number of industry awards, comes directly from outstanding employees like these championship drivers,” says Bob Davidson, president and chief executive officer of Fort Smith, Ark.-based ABF. “Behind the wheel, on the dock, in the office or wherever duty calls, ABF employees are committed to adding value to our customers’ supply chain by maintaining the highest performance standards.”

Known informally as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” the annual event is sponsored by the Safety and Loss Prevention Management Council of the American Trucking Associations to promote driving safety among the nation’s three million professional truck drivers. Competitive divisions include straight truck, three-axle, four-axle, five-axle, tank truck, flatbed, five-axle sleeper, twins and auto transporter. The competitions include a written examination, personal interview, pre-trip inspection and a driving skills test.

ABF’s state champions, including three repeat winners from 2005 and two Grand Champions, are:

  • Chris Blandford, Kentucky, flatbed;
  • Larry Burney, Wyoming, tank;
  • Ralph Garcia, New Mexico, sleeper;
  • Paul Good, Indiana, five-axle;
  • John Heckman, Kentucky, twins;
  • Don Herzog, Massachusetts, four-axle;
  • A J Kelly, Wyoming, twins;
  • Patrick Leary, Minnesota, four-axle;
  • Steve Limas, New Mexico, five-axle;
  • Gary Mason, Wyoming, five-axle;
  • Nate McCarty, Wyoming, straight;
  • Robert Redding, Oklahoma, straight;
  • Dwight Sall, Nebraska, three-axle;
  • David Schmuecher, Illinois, twins; and
  • Tony Spero, Connecticut, flatbed.
  • Limas and McCarty are Grand Champions, each scoring the highest of all drivers in their state championship. Garcia, McCarty and Spero are repeat winners from the 2005 state championships.