Con-way Freight driver earns top honors at ATA championships

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Dale Duncan, a Con-way Freight professional truck driver based in Chula Vista, Calif., was named the 2006 National Truck Driving Grand Champion at last week’s National Truck Driving Championships, held in New Orleans. Duncan’s driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 381 other drivers from across the United States.

The 69th annual “Super Bowl of Safety” is sponsored by the American Trucking Associations. The contestants were the state champions, in eight truck types, from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven more than 552 million accident-free miles. In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily.

The competition course inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center challenged 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.

Duncan — who has driven for Con-way Freight for 16 years, logging 1.1 million accident-free miles — also won the individual tank truck driving competition. Joining Duncan as champions in their respective classes:

  • Five-Axle: James Hines, Wal-Mart Transportation, Richmond, Va.
  • Five-Axle Sleeper: Ryland Hogan, Wilson Trucking Corp., Stuarts Draft, Va.
  • Four-Axle: Mark Hassemer, Yellow Transportation, Whitelaw, Wis.
  • Three-Axle: Daniel Shamrell, FedEx Freight, Battle Ground, Wash.
  • Twins: Robert French, Con-way Freight, Bland, Va.
  • Flatbed: Anthony Spero, ABF Freight System, Stratford, Conn.
  • Straight Truck: Randy DeVault, Roadway, Hartford, Maine.
  • Timothy Cohen, a three-axle driver for FedEx Ground from Stafford, Conn., was named 2006 Rookie of the Year. Bruce Green, a five-axle driver for Yellow Transportation from Lenexa, Kan., won the 2006 Professional Excellence Award. Daniel Shamrell of FedEx Freight also won the 2006 Neill Darmstadter Vehicle Condition Award. The Maine state truck driving championship team won honors as the highest-scoring state team, followed by Kansas and Iowa.

    The 2007 National Truck Driving Championships will be held Aug. 21-25 in Minneapolis.