American Trucking Associations
Gragg Bendix 1 64e3c02f5dfbc

UPS driver James 'Gragg' Wilson wins National Truck Driving Championship

Aug. 22, 2023
American Trucking Associations' annual competition challenged the best of the best truck drivers in knowledge and skills across nine vehicle classes.

The American Trucking Associations has crowned UPS driver James “Gragg” Wilson of Nevada the Bendix Grand Champion of the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships. The competition took place Aug. 16-19 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“Gragg delivered a flawless performance to take home our industry’s top prize and earn the title of Grand Champion,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. "This accomplishment epitomizes his entire career, with 37 years and more than 2.5 million miles of accident-free driving." 

“All of the professional drivers who competed this week are phenomenal ambassadors for our industry. They are shining examples of highway safety, and their commitment to excellence makes us proud," Spear continued. 

Known as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” according to ATA, the annual event dates back to 1937. This year’s competitors accumulated more than 643 million accident-free miles in their professional driving careers.

In order to earn the title of 2023 Bendix Grand Champion, Wilson had to beat out 418 competing state champion truck drivers from 49 states across all vehicle classes. Drivers demonstrated their knowledge of safety, equipment, and the industry by taking a written exam, a pre-trip inspection test, and navigating a skills-based driving competition course. Behind the wheel, drivers were scored on their abilities to handle their trucks, judge distances, and maneuver through tight spaces. The driving course challenged drivers to maneuver, reverse, park, and position their vehicles with precision over scales, before barriers, and around curves.

Wilson previously won the Nevada State Championship 13 times in six different classes, and he has also won grand champion five times in the State of Nevada.  Wilson was the 2019 Nevada Driver of the Year.

ATA also recognized Myron Means of Wyoming, a professional driver for Old Dominion Freight Line, as the 2023 Rookie of the Year. Moreover, the team of drivers from Connecticut produced the best collective score and were honored as the top state delegation.

Various other champions from each of the nine vehicle classes were also crowned. Ina Daly of Arizona, a driver for XPO Logistics, was honored during the awards banquet with the Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award. Bill Graham was chosen as the Lifetime Volunteer Award recipient.

“Congratulations to Grand Champion Gragg and the rest of the 2023 champions.  These drivers devote an enormous amount of time preparing for this competition, and the awards reflect the extraordinary dedication and commitment to safety that they bring to their jobs every day,” said Dan Van Alstine, chairman of ATA and president and COO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems.  “I would also like to thank the staff and volunteers for organizing this week’s event.  Their efforts were instrumental to once again making NTDC a big success.”

Full list of 2023 National Truck Driving Championship Winners

Step Van

  1. Jerome De La Cruz, FedEx Express, Alaska

  2. Gregory Long, FedEx Express Maryland

  3. Alex Lofgren, FedEx Express Minnesota

Straight Truck

  1. David Coffel, FedEx Express, Arizona

  2. William Colantuone, FedEx Express, Massachusetts

  3. James Kohr, FedEx Express, New York

3-Axle: 

  1. Barry Kraemer, XPO, Wisconsin

  2. Joseph Hicks, XPO, Rhode Island

  3. Ritch Fundell, FedEx Freight, Illinois

4-Axle

  1. Martin McMahon, RIST Transport, New York

  2. Bruce Quaal, ABF Freight System, Minnesota

  3. Adam Heim, FedEx Freight, Idaho

5-Axle

  1. John Greene, FedEx Freight, Connecticut

  2. James Quarles, Wal-Mart Transportation, South Carolina

  3. Michael Martin, Wal-Mart Transportation 

Flatbed

  1. Daryl Miller, The Cope Company Salt, Pennsylvania

  2. Ernest Wagers, Old Dominion Freight Line,  Kentucky

  3. James Sowder, FedEx Freight, Tennessee

Tank Truck

  1. James “Gragg” Wilson, United Parcel Service,  Nevada
  2. Jason Imhoff, Wal-Mart Transportation, Ohio
  3. Timothy Vogt, XPO, Georgia

Twins

  1. Robert Fair, FedEx Freight, New Hampshire

  2. Jeffrey Langenhahn, XPO, Wisconsin

  3. Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight, Colorado

Sleeper Berth

  1. Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express, Connecticut

  2. Chris Moore, Wal-Mart Transportation, Georgia

  3. Tyler Rogers, FedEx Freight, Colorado

Rookie of the Year

Myron Means, Old Dominion Freight Line, Flatbed, Wyoming

State Team Award

  1. Connecticut

  2. Illinois

  3. Tennessee

Vehicle Condition Award

Timothy Blair, FedEx Freight, 5-Axle, Tennessee

Highest Written Exam Award

  1. Michael Bills, FedEx Express, North Carolina

  2. David Comings, FedEx Freight, North Dakota

  3. David Mogler, FedEx Freight, Colorado

  4. Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight, Colorado

Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award:

Ina Daly, XPO Logistics, Arizona

Lifetime Volunteer Award

Bill Graham

About the Author

Scott Keith

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