Duncan drives off with championship title
Dale Duncan, a Con-way Freight professional truck driver based in Chula Vista, CA, was named the 2006 National Truck Driving Grand Champion. Dun-can’s driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety topped those of 381 other drivers from all across the U.S. at the National Truck Driving Championships in New Orleans. The 69th annual “Super Bowl of Safety” is sponsored by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
The contestants were the state champ-ions in eight truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven over 552 million accident-free miles.
In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center challenged knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. The skills course tested drivers’ ability to judge distances, maneuver, reverse, park and precisely position their vehicle.
Duncan also won the individual tank truck driving competition. The top-three finishers in each division included:
Straight Truck: 1. Randy Devault, Roadway, ME; 2. Mark Dietsche, FedEx Freight, OR;
3. Andy Bryant, FedEx Freight, TN
Three-Axle: 1. Daniel Shamrell, FedEx Freight, OR; 2. Ryan Kelley, FedEx Freight, IA; 3. Jeffrey Halford, Con-way Freight, ID
Four-Axle: 1. Mark Hassemer, Yellow Transportation, Inc., WI; 2. John Willinger, FedEx Freight, KY; 3. Lawrence Derr, Werner Enterprises, Inc., NE
Five-Axle: 1. James Hines, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, VA; 2. Terrence Cross, CA; 3. James Dacus, IA
Flatbed: 1. Anthony Spero, ABF Freight System, Inc., CT;
2. Jesse Holt, Roadway, GA; 3. Ronald Coles, USF Reddaway, Inc., ID
Tank Truck: 1. Dale Duncan, Con-way Freight, CA; 2. Michael Lomastro, Publix Supermarkets, Inc., FL; 3. Steven Newsome, UPS Freight, SC
Twins: 1. Robert French, Con-way Freight, VA; 2. James March, Yellow Transportation, Inc., PA; 3. Darrell Kimbrell, FedEx Freight, AL
Sleeper Berth: 1. Ryland Hogan, Wilson Trucking Corporation, VA; 2. Donald Bryan, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, CA; 3. William Connolly, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, NY
Duncan succeeds Rick Herbert, a Yellow Transportation driver based in Villa Park, IL, as the National Grand Champion.
Timothy Cohen, a three-axle driver for FedEx Ground from Stafford, CT, was named 2006 Rookie of the Year. Bruce Green, a five-axle driver for Yellow Transportation from Lenexa, KS, won the 2006 Professional Excellence Award. Daniel Shamrell of FedEx Freight won the 2006 Neill Darmstadter Vehicle Condition Award.
Maine won honors as the highest scoring state team, followed by Kansas and Iowa.
The 2007 National Truck Driving Championships will be held Aug. 21-25 in Minneapolis.