The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) recently named the winners of the 34th annual IFDA Truck Driving Championship held at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista FL.
The event, which celebrates safety and skill, annually draws drivers from all over the country, where contestants compete in categories ranging from written examinations to a driving obstacle course and pre-trip inspection.
“It’s been an honor to host our country’s most elite professional truck drivers (in Florida) and see such great support from their families and friends who came out to cheer on their drivers,” said Mark Allen, IFDA president and CEO. “Only a select few can emerge as champions, and it’s a testament to their skill and commitment to safety that they took home top honors this year.”
Shining a spotlight on the skills and talents of professional truck drivers is especially timely given America’s record shortage of truck drivers, according to IFDA. The American Trucking Associations estimates 60,000 more drivers are needed to meet current demand, a gap that is expected to grow in the coming years.
2019 IFDA Trucking Driving Championship winners
First, second and third-place awards were presented in three different truck classes in the competition. The winners are:
- First: Glenn Anderson of the Eby-Brown Company
- Second: Duane Kaitoku of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
- Third: Will Eisen of McLane Foodservice Distribution
3-Axle (28-foot tractor/trailer)
- First: Erik Van’t Veer of Gordon Food Service
- Second: Brian Mickels of Shamrock Foods
- Third: Sam Palya of US Foods
5-Axle (53-foot tractor/trailer)
- First: Glenn Shaw of Ahold Delhaize USA
- Second: Ray Carson of Reinhart Foodservice
- Third: Chris Shirley of Reinhart Foodservice
In addition, a team award was presented to top performing company Reinhart Foodservice, which had the highest average score among its drivers. The Rookie of the Year award for the first-time driver with the highest score went to Sam Palya of US Foods, and Mike Rush of McLane Foodservice received a perfect score for the pre-trip portion of the competition.