Event Report: Iowa Motor Truck Association 2018 Truck Driving Championships
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Every June, the highlight of our trucking year arrives. The IMTA’s Truck Driving Championships give drivers the chance to be treated like pro athletes for two days while they are tested theoretically and practically on driving semi-trucks. The competition is skilled—there were many drivers in the field with over four million miles behind the wheel. The classes, ranging from straight truck to flatbed and sleeper birth, all have their own challenges around the tight driving course.
Thursday opened with the theoretical testing, both written and in interview format. Afterward, a group dinner with BBQ gave everyone a chance to wind down and have some fun before the main event the next day.
Keeping with the annual trend, Friday served up brutally hot temperatures. It was over 90 by 10:00am. With the event lounge set up and drinks in the cooler, we settled down to watch a good day of competition and cheer on the GPC drivers.
This year, GPC drivers elected to compete in three different classes. With the exception of Allen, none of these were what they normally drive. This added to the difficulty of an already challenging course with tests ranging from precision cornering to running a gauntlet of cones. Tom was first up in the 5-axle van class. After his run, Tom mentioned that the van had a very different turning radius than the sleeper he’s used to driving every day. Check out his run below:
Next up was Brett in flatbed. While he drives a sleeper at Green Products, Brett spent some time in the past driving flatbeds. His run is below:
With the sun blazing in the afternoon sky, Al was last up to drive. Check out his run in the sleeper class below.
After the driving was over, the awards banquet kicked off. GPC was proud to be honored with the Team Sportsmanship Award for 2018! The dinner went on late into the evening--a good time was had by all.
All the drivers take both the theory and driving seriously. Many spend hours studying everything from pre-trip rules to little known moving regulations. While the event is technically a competition, the atmosphere is incredibly welcoming. We didn’t see any frowns even when peoples’ competition scores weren’t up to snuff. For a job that is often thankless, the Truck Driving Championships make a driver feel like royalty for two days. We look forward to returning in 2019!