Don Logan, a FedEx Freight professional truck driver from Topeka, Kan., was named the 2012 Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion. Logan’s driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 425 other professional drivers from all across the United States at the 75th annual NTDC, held in Minneapolis and sponsored by the American Trucking Associations.
Logan, who has been driving professionally for 25 years and has driven 2.1 million miles, began competing in his state truck driving championships in 2006, and this year he made his sixth NTDC trip. This is the third win for Logan at the state level, placing first in the three-axle class in 2009 and in the twins class in 2010. The contestants were the state champions in nine truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven 604,122,031 accident-free miles.
In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside the Minneapolis 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 competitors are the best of the best – the safest, most skilled and most knowledgeable among professional drivers,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “I applaud all the competitors for their achievements and dedication to safety, and congratulate Don on his Grand Champion award, which showcases his superior driving skill and commitment to safety.”
Logan also won the individual flatbed truck driving competition. Joining him as champions in their respective classes:
• Straight Truck Class
1. PA – Robert Dolan, Con-way Freight, Allentown, Pa.
2. NJ – Michael Scripko, Con-way Freight, Hamilton, N.J.
3. AL – Scott Ward, Con-way Freight, Decatur, Ala.
• 3-Axle Class
1. MA – Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express, Windsor, Conn.
2. NY – Gerald Thompson, Con-way Freight, Tonawanda, N.Y.
3. NH – Wayne McClellan, Con-way Freight, Manchester, N.H.
• 4-Axle Class
1. NE – Scott Stroup, YRC Freight, Omaha, Neb.
2. OR – Christopher Outen, FedEx Freight, Portland, Ore.
3. PA – Kevin Miskiewicz, YRC Freight, Line Lexington, Pa.
• 5-Axle Class
1. ID – Michael Grogran, Con-way Freight, Boise, Idaho
2. CA – Richard Camarda, ABF Freight System Inc., Sacramento, Calif.
3. WA – Gary Herrygers, The Boeing Co., Renton, Wash.
• Flatbed Class
1. KS – Donald Logan, FedEx Freight, Topeka, Kan.
2. ME – Kevin Duran, Hannaford Trucking Co., Portland, Maine
3. WV – Kenneth Grimmett, Con-way Freight, Belle, W.Va.
• Tank Truck Class
1. KY – Brent Quire, Con-way Freight, Louisville, Ky.
2. MS – Jason Matte, FedEx Freight, Richland, Miss.
3. WA – Victor Skoglund, FedEx Freight, Everett, Wash.
• Twins Class
1. AL – Michael Umphrey, Con-way Freight, Decatur, Ala.
2. NY – Mark McLean, FedEx Freight, Montgomery, N.Y.
3. NC – Leonard Coelman, FedEx Freight, Greensboro, N.C.
• Sleeper Berth Class
1. PA – Leo Flack, A. Duie Pyle Inc., Westchester, Pa.
2. LA – Pat Rudesill, FedEx Ground, Hammond, La.
3. WA – Roy Carcia, Peninsula Truck Lines, Spokane, Wash.
• Step Van
1. NH – Edward Gertz, FedEx Express, Londonderry, N.H.
2. AZ – Sean Saxon, FedEx Ground, Tempe, Ariz.
3. N.C. – Michael Bills, FedEx Express, Durham, N.C.
Logan succeeds Paul Phillips, a professional truck driver with Con-way Freight from Coarsegold, Calif., as the National Grand Champion. Robert Sutton, a driver for ABF Freight System Inc. from Boise, Idaho, was named the 2012 National Rookie of the Year after competing in the Three-Axle division; Xata Corp. is the sponsor of the award.
The Pennsylvania state truck driving championship team won honors as the highest scoring state team, followed by Washington and Georgia, respectively; this marks the 15th time Pennsylvania has won the state trophy, the first dating back to 1956.
Logan also won the Vehicle Condition Award, one of the longest-running NTDC awards, which recognizes the contestant who has proven during the competition that he or she has a thorough understanding of equipment, an extraordinary ability to inspect and evaluate a truck’s condition, and unequivocal commitment to safety. Biodiesel: America’s Advanced Biofuel was the sponsor of the award.
Denis Litalien, a driver for Clifford W. Perham Inc., from Wells, Maine, was awarded the Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award; Litalien participated in the Five-Axle competition.
Marking his 20th year as a volunteer at the state level and 14 years at the national level, Jack Taylor was awarded the Life-Time Volunteer Award; Truck Writers sponsored the award.