Con-way Freight driver named National Truck Driving Grand Champion

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Dale L. Duncan, a Con-way Freight professional truck driver based in San Diego, was named the 2009 National Truck Driving Grand Champion. Duncan’s driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 415 other professional drivers from all across the United States in the National Truck Driving Championships, held in Pittsburgh.

The 72nd annual “Super Bowl of Safety” is sponsored by the American Trucking Associations. In route to his title, Duncan has logged 26 accident and injury-free years as a driver, with more than 1.25 million miles behind the wheel. Duncan began competing in the National Truck Driving Championships in 1995, when he placed sixth in his division.

The contestants were the state champions in nine truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven 521,946,523 accident-free miles.

In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center challenged their 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.

“The National Truck Driving Championships showcase the industry’s commitment to safety,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “I applaud all the competitors for their efforts in making our highways safe, and congratulate Dale for demonstrating how a dedication to safe driving skills can make you a Grand Champion.”

Duncan also won the individual 5-axle truck driving competition. Joining Duncan as champions in their respective classes:

  • Straight Truck: Robert (Bob) J. Dolan – Con-way Freight (Catasauqua, Pa.)
  • Three-Axle: Don Logan – FedEx Freight (Eskridge, Kan.)
  • Four-Axle: Mike Stickley – Con-way Freight (Winchester, Va.)
  • Sleeper Berth Class: Troy Swenson – FedEx Freight (Watertown, S.D.)
  • Twins: Mark McLean – FedEx Freight (Gardiner, N.Y.)
  • Flatbed Class: Mick Simpson – Family Dollar Trucking Inc. (Rose Hill, N.C.)
  • Tank Truck Class: Tony Spero – ABF Freight System (Stratford, Conn.)
  • Step Van: David Thompson – FedEx Ground (Alexander, Ark.)
  • Duncan succeeds Dennis Shirar, a professional truck driver with Heritage Transport, as the National Grand Champion.

    Brandon E. Souder, a driver for Con-way Freight from Hamilton, Ohio, was named 2009 Rookie of the Year after competing in the Flatbed division. Souder has been a professional truck driver for 12 years.

    The Texas state truck driving championship team won honors as the highest scoring state team, followed by Minnesota and then New Hampshire.

    The full list of the 2009 National Truck Driving Championship Winners:

  • Grand Champion: Dale L. Duncan, Con-way Freight (California)
  • National Rookie of the Year: Brandon E. Souder, Con-way Freight (Kentucky)
  • State Team Trophy: Texas
  • Vehicle Condition Award: Bernard E. Spine, FedEx Express (Vermont)
  • Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award: Thomas C. Turner, Martin-Brower (Georgia)
  • Life-Time Volunteer Award: James and Faye Williams
  • National Champions:

    Straight Truck Class

  • 1st Place: Robert (Bob) J. Dolan – Con-way Freight (Catasauqua, Pa.)
  • 2nd Place: Leroy Williams Sr. – Con-way Freight (Zachary, La.)
  • 3rd: Place: Brent A. Glasenapp – FedEx Express (Franklin, Wis.)
  • Three-Axle Class

  • 1st Place: Don Logan – FedEx Freight (Eskridge, Kan.)
  • 2nd Place: Brian Clark – FedEx Express (Pittsboro, Ind.)
  • 3rd Place: Joe Mangiaracino – FedEx Freight (Sullivan, Mo.)
  • Four-Axle Class

  • 1st Place: Mike Stickley – Con-way Freight (Winchester, Va.)
  • 2nd Place: Tim Dean – Werner Enterprises Inc. (Omaha, Neb.)
  • 3rd Place: Darryl Dodd – Wal-Mart Transportation LLC (Phil Campbell, Ala.)
  • Five-Axle Class

  • 1st Place: Dale Duncan – Con-way Freight (San Diego)
  • 2nd Place: Ray Jackson – H-E-B Grocery Co. (San Antonio)
  • 3rd Place: J.W. (Jesse) Ballard – YRC (Portland, Ore.)
  • Sleeper Berth Class

  • 1st Place: Troy Swenson – FedEx Freight (Watertown, S.D.)
  • 2nd Place: Ralph Garcia – ABF Freight System Inc. (Rio Rancho, N.M.)
  • 3rd Place: John Hummel – UPS Freight (Gaffney, S.C.)
  • Twins Class

  • 1st Place: Mark McLean – FedEx Freight (Gardiner, N.Y.)
  • 2nd Place: Chris Poynor – Con-way Freight (Pasco, Wash.)
  • 3rd Place: Stacy Sansom – YRC (Shreveport, La.)
  • Flatbed Class

  • 1st Place: Mick Simpson – Family Dollar Trucking Inc. (Rose Hill, N.C.)
  • 2nd Place: Rich Sweeney – Con-way Freight (Springfield, Mass.)
  • 3rd Place: Rick Kinsey – Con-way Freight (Winchester, Va.)
  • Tank Truck Class

  • 1st Place: Tony Spero – ABF Freight (Stratford, Conn.)
  • 2nd Place: Jon Hume – FedEx Freight (Hillsboro, Mo.)
  • 3rd Place: Dennis Chambers – Crete Carrier Corp. (Spartanburg, Neb.)
  • Step Van Class

  • 1st Place: David Thompson – FedEx Ground (Alexander, Ark.)
  • 2nd Place: Skippy LeBlanc – FedEx Ground (Seaford, Del.)
  • 3rd Place: Nick Paradiso – FedEx Ground (Portland, Ore.)
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