- The championships are hosted each year by the American Trucking Associations
- Competing drivers must have maintained accident-free driving records for the past year
Fort Smith, Arkansas, August 7, 2014 – ABF Freightsm is sending 14 drivers to compete in the 2014 National Truck Driving Championships August 12-16 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, hosted by the American Trucking Associations.
The drivers earned the right to compete in the national championships by winning first place in their respective state driving championships and by maintaining accident-free driving records for the preceding year. “These drivers have distinguished themselves with professionalism behind the wheel and devotion to safety on and off the road,” said Tim Thorne, ABF Freight vice president of linehaul operations. Added Murray Babb, ABF Freight vice president of terminal operations, “Everyone at ABF Freight greatly appreciates their hard work and dedication, and we’re proud of the way they represent both ABF Freight and the trucking industry.”
Representing ABF Freight will be Loren Hatfield, flatbed, Arkansas; Phil Murray, four-axle, California; Don Boileau, twins, Connecticut; Tim McElwaney, four-axle and Joe Obregon, five-axle, Georgia; Bob Bramwell, three-axle, Missouri; Todd Wilemon, flatbed, Mississippi; Joseph Carrillo, tank truck, Ralph Garcia, sleeper and Duane Oldfield, flatbed, New Mexico; Troy Atkins, tank truck, Oregon; Ernie Wood, four-axle, Vermont; Tom Martin, straight truck and Andrew Walston, tank truck, Wyoming. McElwaney, who won Georgia’s Pre-Trip Award, and Walston are competing as their respective states’ Grand Champions. Walston also won Wyoming’s Kim Fye Award, and he and Martin shared the Wyoming Team Trophy. Hatfield led an ABF team that won the Arkansas Small Team Trophy. And Murray enters the competition as the California Rookie of the Year.
Winners from each state driving championship in nine classes of competition advance to nationals, where their knowledge and skill are tested in a written exam, a driving course and pre-trip inspection test. Over 400 drivers and 2,000 spectators are expected at the event. This year, for the first time, the ATA is inviting eligible drivers of non-ATA state trucking associations to compete in the annual safety competition. “We’ve long billed this event as the ‘Super Bowl of Safety,’ so it is fitting that as college football moves to a more inclusive playoff system, we at the ATA give more competitors a chance to test their mettle and compete for a championship,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO.