Dale L. Duncan, a Con-way Freight professional truck driver based in San Diego, was named the 2009 National Truck Driving Grand Champion. Duncan’s driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 415 other professional drivers from all across the United States in the National Truck Driving Championships, held in Pittsburgh.
The 72nd annual “Super Bowl of Safety” is sponsored by the American Trucking Associations. In route to his title, Duncan has logged 26 accident and injury-free years as a driver, with more than 1.25 million miles behind the wheel. Duncan began competing in the National Truck Driving Championships in 1995, when he placed sixth in his division.
The contestants were the state champions in nine truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven 521,946,523 accident-free miles.
In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence 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 showcase the industry’s commitment to safety,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “I applaud all the competitors for their efforts in making our highways safe, and congratulate Dale for demonstrating how a dedication to safe driving skills can make you a Grand Champion.”
Duncan also won the individual 5-axle truck driving competition. Joining Duncan as champions in their respective classes:
Duncan succeeds Dennis Shirar, a professional truck driver with Heritage Transport, as the National Grand Champion.
Brandon E. Souder, a driver for Con-way Freight from Hamilton, Ohio, was named 2009 Rookie of the Year after competing in the Flatbed division. Souder has been a professional truck driver for 12 years.