LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) – (7/17/19) The Arkansas Trucking Association has announced the winners of the 2019 Arkansas Trucking Championship.
The best technicians and truck drivers in the state gathered July 11–13, 2019 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, Ark. to compete in the Arkansas Trucking Championship, hosted by the Arkansas Trucking Association.
Dave Hall of ABF Freight was named the Grand Champion of the Truck Driving Championship, the Trailer Technician Champion is Steven Frye of Walmart Transportation, and the Truck Technician Grand Champion is Larry Coatney of FedEx Freight.
The three-day event included a Commercial Vehicle Inspection Competition for Arkansas Highway Police, Technician Training Fair, Vendor Exhibition, Technician Championship and Truck Driving Championship. The truck drivers competed in 9 classes: 3 axle, 4 axle, 5 axle, straight truck, twins, sleeper, step van, tank and flatbed. In its 16th year, the technician competition includes a written test and 14 hands-on stations for truck technicians and 8 hands-on stations for trailer technicians, including air conditioning, brakes, tire & wheel analysis, FMCSA regulations, engines, and other skills technicians use every day on the job.
“To see Arkansas’ best drivers and technicians all together for a few days, performing these tasks with expertise, skill, focus and precision is special,” said Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “They go back to their hometowns or to their regular routes across America with new friends in the industry and trophies, but we leave with a greater appreciation of the men and women who keep us safe on the highways while delivering our freight and caring for trucks and trailers.”
163 drivers and 62 technicians competed in both written and hands-on competitions. The first place winners in each of the truck classes will go on to the national championships in Pittsburgh, Pa. August 14–17. The technicians will also have the opportunity to compete in a national competition in Raleigh, N.C. September 15–19.
“Truck drivers who keep our shelves consistently stocked and our lives full of all the things we want and need are around us every day on the highways. Technicians keep those trucks and trailers running efficiently and safely. So many times we only notice the one package that arrives late and never see the thousand little ways that these professionals know more, see more and do more for our communities than we give them credit for,” said Newton. “I look forward to this competition every year because I love seeing up close how skilled and passionate our workforce is. It is a spectacle to see safety performed like a dance on a stage, but even with an audience of 1300 judges, family, friends, colleagues, fans and other contestants throughout the week, the competitors demonstrate what it means to be a safe driver or skilled technician.”