In honor of the 2012 London Olympics, we thought we’d talk about the Olympics of the American truck driving world, the National Truck Driving Championships and Step Van Championships for US drivers. These championships are hosted each year by the American Trucking Association and are contested by the winners of state competitions held earlier.
If you’re a safe driver, this might be the competition for you. You have to be able to demonstrate both knowledge and skill. Good luck to all the drivers, and stay tuned! We’ll be posting the results as they become available.
The 2012 National Truck Driving Championships
This year, the contest begins Tuesday, August 7th and runs through the Saturday, the 11th at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minnesota. This historic competition started out in 1937 as the National Truck Rodeo, and in its current form, the contest consists of eight classes of competition:
- Straight Truck
- Three-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer
- Four-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer
- Five-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer (Tank)
- Five-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer (Van)
- Five-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer (Flatbed)
- Five-Axle Tractor (Sleeper Cab) -Semitrailer (Van)
- Twin Trailers
State requirements can vary. A big requirement for the national championship among others is that you must remain accident free for the year leading up to the contest. Details can be found on the event website here. You can also contact them directly by phone or email posted at http://www.trucking.org/Federation/Councils/slpmc/NTDC/Pages/Default.aspx
Safety and Professional Pride
So why have a Truck Driving Championship? First and foremost, the championships encourage safe driving. Since those who wish to compete must remain accident-free for one year to compete, extra vigilance and safety precautions are taken across the US. Also, there’s a ton of professional pride that comes with winning a competition of this magnitude.
Unless you’re in the finals this week, it’s too late to be involved this year but not too late to start preparing for next year’s contest. Get in touch with your local state Trucking Association to see the requirements and process to compete in your state here.