More than 400 top professional truck drivers from across the United States have arrived in Orlando, Fla., for the 2011 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships, to be held Tuesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-13, in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The “Super Bowl of Safety” is sponsored annually by the American Trucking Associations.
The NTDC and NSVDC contestants are state champions from all 50 states. States send winners from each class of competition – from 18-wheeled five-axle sleepers to tank trucks to twin trailers to straight trucks – with eight competing classes in all along with an affiliated competition for step vans. The 19th annual North American Inspectors Championship again will take place alongside the championships in Orlando.
Drivers will compete for four days, challenging their driving skills and knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. ATA President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Graves will kick-off the first day of driving, Thursday, with the ceremonial Breakfast of Champions.
Drivers then head to the competition course, which recreates real-world obstacles that drivers encounter daily, such as an alley dock, a rear and/or front line stop, a scales stop, a right or left turn, parallel parking or straight line driving through a diminishing clearance. Five classes will drive Thursday, and four classes will take to the obstacle course Friday.
When it is all over on Saturday, Aug. 13, the United States will have a new National Grand Champion professional truck driver, individual champions in each class and a state champion team.
The NTDC and NSVDC annually attract more than 2,000 cheering friends, family, colleagues and spectators. Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems is the first-time sponsor of the Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion Award. For more information, go to www.truckline.com/Federation/Councils/slpmc/NTDC/Pages/Default.aspx.