After five days of competition among the nation’s top professional truck drivers, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems said it is proud to honor Ronald Emenheiser Sr., a Walmart Transportation professional truck driver based in Yorkana, PA, as the grand champion winner of the 2015 American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC).
A professional driver for more than 25 years, Emenheiser also took top honors in the sleeper berth division, the company said. Emenheiser’s driving skills and knowledge of safety, equipment, and the industry earned him the top award over 430 other drivers, who came from all 50 states and represented 85 different companies. He began competing in his state truck driving championships in 2006, and this year marks his second trip to the National Truck Driving Championships.
This year’s NTDC was held Aug. 11-15 in St. Louis, MO, and marked Bendix’s fifth consecutive year sponsoring the Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion Award, given to the competition’s overall top driver.
Each year, the NTDC features professional truck drivers from across the United States who take part in nine classes of competition at company, state, and regional levels. Collectively, this year’s participants have driven more than 665 million accident-free miles. Qualifying drivers advance to compete at the national event, which attracts more than 2,000 friends, family, colleagues, and spectators.
“In earning this year’s Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion Award, Ronald Emenheiser exemplifies the highest level of talent, dedication, and professionalism showcased by all this year’s participants,” said Fred Andersky, director of government and industry affairs. “Each of the competitors deserves recognition not just for their performance this week, but for the long-standing commitment to highway safety they have displayed over many years and hundreds of millions of miles. Even as vehicle safety technology improves dramatically, nothing is more important to the safe operation of a commercial vehicle than a skilled, safe driver practicing safe driving habits, supported by proactive and comprehensive driver training.”
During this year’s competition, drivers demonstrated their knowledge of safety, equipment, and the industry through a written exam, a pre-trip inspection test, and a skills-based driving competition course. Behind the wheel, their abilities to handle a truck, judge distances, and maneuver through tight spaces were put to the test through challenges to drive, reverse, and park their vehicles with precision. Course obstacles included barriers, curves, and scales.