More than 400 top professional truck drivers from across the United States will be heading for Minneapolis, MN, next week for the 2012 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships, to be held Aug. 7-11 in the Minneapolis Convention Center.
The National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC) is a competition of professional truck drivers hosted each year by American Trucking Assns. The competition has a long history — dating back to 1937 when it was known as the National Truck Roadeo.
The NTDC competitors are made up of the winners in eight classes of competition from 50 state trucking association’s truck driving championships, as well as the winners of the auto transporters class at regional competitions.
The truck driving competitions are considered the one of the industry’s largest and most effective safety programs, according to ATA. Known to many as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” these annual competitions inspire tens of thousands of drivers to operate accident-free for the right to compete.
The National Truck Driving Championships pits the top qualifiers from each state’s Truck Driving Championships against each other in pursuit of the title of Grand Champion.
To qualify, a driver competes in one of eight equipment categories in the state his or her CDL was issued in or the state in which his or her company has corporate domicile. Equipment categories include:
- Three-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer
- Four-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer
- Five-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer (Tank)
- Five-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer (Van)
- Five-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer (Flatbed)
- Five-Axle Tractor (Sleeper Cab) -Semitrailer (Van)
- Twin Trailers
To be eligible, a driver must maintain continuous employment with a motor carrier fleet for a continuous period of at least one year and remain accident free, regardless of fault, for one year prior to NTDC.