National Truck Driving Championships kick off next week

The 2012 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships will be held August 7-11 in the Minneapolis Convention Center. The event, hosted by American Trucking Associations, will feature 426 top professional truck drivers from across the U.S. This year celebrates the 75th anniversary of the National Truck Driving Championships. 

The National 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 – eight competing classes in all with an affiliated competition for step vans.   

Drivers will compete for four days, challenging their driving skills, and knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry.  ATA’s Chairman Dan England, Chairman, C.R. England, Inc., will kick-off the first day of driving with the ceremonial Breakfast of Champions on Thursday.  Drivers then head to the competition course, which recreates real world obstacles that drivers encounter daily, such as 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.  Four classes will drive Thursday and five classes will take to the obstacle course Friday.  Drivers will also be tested on their ability to identify and name vehicle defects during the Pre-Trip Inspection portion of the competition, as well as through knowledge of safety, security, fire safety, first aid, and health and wellness during an hour long written exam. 

When it is all over on Saturday, August 11, the U.S. will have a new Grand Champion, as well as individual champions in each class, and a state champion team.