Columbus, Ohio — Today, the American Trucking Associations’ Safety Management Council kicked off the driving portion of competition at the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships and Step Van Driving Championships at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Some of the industry’s most elite drivers—418 men and women representing 49 states—are putting their professional knowledge, safe driving skills, and vehicle readiness awareness to the test to see who will emerge as the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships Bendix Grand Champion.
The NTDC and affiliated state TDCs are considered one of the industry’s largest and most effective safety programs. During the competition, each driver undergoes a written examination, pre-trip inspection test and a driving skills test.
Known as the "Super Bowl of Safety," these annual competitions held since 1937 inspire tens of thousands of drivers to operate accident-free for the right to compete. This year’s competitors have driven a combined 674 million accident-free miles throughout their careers.
Yesterday, drivers completed a written examination on rules and regulations. Today and tomorrow, drivers conduct a pre-trip inspection to detect vehicle malfunctions, and then hop in the cab for a driving skills test where they are graded on their ability to operate a truck through a series of obstacles.
“The energy here this year is off the charts,” said Rodney Myers, NTDC Chairman and Vice President, HR, FedEx Freight. “This event is a culmination of a year’s worth of hard work, training, and commitment, and now these drivers get to put their knowledge and skills to the test to see who will be crowned the Grand Champion.”
“Safety is and always will be a core mission of ATA and our industry, and nothing exemplifies that commitment more clearly than this competition,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The men and women competing here this week have earned their place in trucking’s pantheon, having logged hundreds of millions of accident-free miles. We celebrate their professionalism, passion and dedication.”
Finalists will be announced on Saturday morning, and a Grand Champion will be announced Saturday evening. Follow ATA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and #NTDC23 for regular updates on social media.