Safety takes center stage at Truck Driving Championship

Safety takes center stage at Truck Driving Championship

Drivers competed in the 30th annual International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) Truck Driving Championship recently at the Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club in Orlando FL.

“The IFDA Truck Driving Championship promotes a culture of transportation safety,” said Mark S Allen, president and chief executive officer of IFDA. “Each year, foodservice distributions best drivers come together to showcase their exceptional abilities and skills. This championship rewards and honors professional drivers for everything they do day-in and day-out to keep our roads safe as they do one of America’s most demanding and important jobs.”

The championship included three tests. Drivers first took a written exam of 40 questions ranging from road laws to vehicle safety. The next day, they performed a pre-trip inspection of a vehicle in their class of competition and drove a field course. For the pre-trip, competitors worked to find 10 planted defects that could affect driving safety (worth up to 100 points). On the field course, drivers navigated six challenges that simulated situations they face on the road, but each problem was taken up a notch to make them really challenging. Imagine driving a 48-foot tractor-trailer between two lines of tennis balls with only 3 inches of leeway to either side. Knock one off its stand, and it’s minus five points. Knock two off, it’s minus 10.

The championship concluded with a big reception and dinner where winners were announced.

Awards were presented for the three different truck classes in the competition. The winners include:

Straight Truck

•1st place–Duane Kaitoku, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Hawaii

•2nd place—Brian Mickels, Shamrock Foods Company–Colorado

•3rd place–Todd Allen, Golden State Foods Corporation

Three-Axle (28-foot Tractor/Trailer)

•1st place—Neil Young, HFM Foodservice

•2nd place—Ty Jennings, Performance Foodservice–IFH Florence

•3rd place—Gary Noyes, Shamrock Foods Co–New Mexico

Five-Axle (48-foot Tractor/Trailer)

•1st place—Phil Trejo, Shamrock Foods Co–Colorado

•2nd place—Glenn Shaw, Delhaize America Transportation

•3rd place—Tobias Mottley, Delhaize America Transportation

Besides individual awards, the 2016 Team Award was presented to Shamrock Foods Co. The award is based on the average score of a company’s drivers for the written exam and the field course and is open to any company with three or more drivers in the championship. Drivers for Shamrock earned three of the top nine spots in the competition.

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