Aug 26, 2013
Salt Lake City, Utah – Gary Harms, a Walmart Transportation professional truck driver based in Olathe, Kan. was named the 2013 Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion. Gary’s driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 422 other professional truck drivers from all across the United States in the National Truck Driving Championships, held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 76th annual “Super Bowl of Safety” is sponsored by the American Trucking Associations.
In route to his title, Gary has logged 30 years as a driver, with over 1.7 million miles behind the wheel. Gary began competing in his state truck driving championships in 2007, and this is his second trip to the National Truck Driving Championships. In 2011, Gary placed first in 4-axle class.
The contestants were the state champions in nine truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven 605,654,659 accident-free miles.
In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside the Salt Palace 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.
"Gary truly represents what is best about our industry," ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. "To win the title of Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion, Gary bested more than 420 of America's safest, most professional, drivers and he and his company, Walmart Transportation, should be congratulated for their efforts."
Gary also won the individual 5-Axle Sleeper driving competition. Joining Gary as champions in their respective classes:
Three-Axle: MA - Roland Bolduc, Fedex Express, East Longmeadow, Mass.
Four-Axle: NM - Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System, Inc., Rio Rancho, N. Mex.
Five-Axle: VA - George Johnson, UPS Freight, Aylett, Va.
Flatbed Class: KY - Richard Wayne Crowder, FedEx Freight, Lanesville, Ind.
Sleeper Berth Class: KS - Gary Harms, Walmart Transportation, Olathe, Kan.
Straight Truck: MD - James Carver, Owings, Md.
Tank Truck Class: AZ - Ina Daly, Con-way Freight, Avondale, Ariz.
Twins: ID: Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Inc., Fruitland, Idaho
Step Van: OK: Justin Kingsley, FedEx Ground, Tulsa, Okla.
Gary Harms succeeds Don Logan, a professional truck driver with FedEx Freight from Eskridge, Kan., as the National Grand Champion.
Bruce Renton, a driver for Holland from Grand Rapids, Mich., was named 2013 Rookie of the Year after competing in the Straight Truck division. Renton has 13 years behind the wheel and over 900,000 accident-free miles.
The Kansas state truck driving championship team won honors as the highest scoring state team, with Wisconsin coming in second, followed by Vermont.
A full list of award winners is attached.
*Editors: High resolution photos of the winners are available.
ATA’s National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships include top professional truck drivers from around the United States competing at company, state and regional levels to make it to the national competition Aug. 20-24 in Salt Lake City. The NTDC annually attracts over 2,000 cheering friends, family, colleagues and spectators. For more information, visit the 2013 National Truck Driving Championships website. Follow NTDC on Facebook.
American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or onFacebook. Good stuff. Trucks Bring It! www.trucking.org.
2013 National Truck Driving Championship Winners:
Grand Champion: Gary Harms, Walmart Transportation (Olathe, Kan.)
National Rookie of the Year: Bruce Renton, Holland (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
State Team Trophy: Kansas
Vehicle Condition Award: Don Logan, FedEx Freight (Eskridge, Kan.)
Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award:Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System, Inc. (Rio Rancho, N.M.)
Life-Time Volunteer Award: John Killilee, Meridian, ID
Perfect Score on Written Exam:
- Judd Adams, Con-way Freight, Straight Truck, Taylorville, Utah
- Ina Daly, Con-way Freight, Tank Truck, Avondale, Ariz.
- Donald Logan, FedEx Freight, Flatbed, Eskridge, Kan.
- Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Twins, Fruitland, Idaho
- Jeffrey Thompson, FedEx Freight, 3-Axle, Olathe, Kan.
Straight Truck Class
- James Carver, Maryland (Owings)
- Judd Adams, Con-way Freight, Utah (Taylorville)
- Daniel Jones, FedEx Freight, Kansas (Topeka)
- Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express, Massachusetts (E. Longmeadow)
- Eric Courville, FedEx Freight, Louisiana (Breaux Bridge)
- Jason Harrington, Con-way Freight, North Dakota (Bismarck)
- Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System, New Mexico (Rio Rancho)
- Thomas Griffin, FedEx Freight, Connecticut (Wallingfod)
- Jeremy Steger, Con-way Freight, Wisconsin (Fond du Lac)
- George Johnson, UPS Freight, Virginia (Aylett)
- Harold Snyder, North Carolina (King)
- Ivan Nikolic, FedEx Ground, Illinois (Chicago)
- Richard Wayne Crowder, FedEx Freight, Kentucky (Lanesville, Ind.)
- Larry Rhein, FedEx Freight, Arkansas (Harrison)
- Paul Brandon, FedEx Freight, Connecticut (Oxford)
Tank Truck Class
- Ina Daly, Con-way Freight, Arizona (Avondale)
- Tony Spero, ABF Freight System, Connecticut (Stratford)
- Jason Matte, FedEx Freight, Mississippi (Flowood)
- Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Idaho (Fruitland)
- Alfonso Saavedra, Con-way Freight, California (Watsonville)
- Barry Kraemer, Con-way Freight, Wisconsin (New Holstein)
Sleeper Berth Class
- Gary Harms, Walmart Transportation, Kansas (Olathe)
- Leo Flack, A. Duie Pyle, Pennsylvania (West Chester)
- Timothy Sproles, UPS Freight, Tennessee (Bristol, Virginia)
- Justin Kingsley, FedEx Ground, Oklahoma (Tulsa)
- Salvatore Vincelli, FedEx Ground, Pennsylvania (Allentown)
- Michael Forchetti, FedEx Express, Maryland (Frederick)