Safety & Compliance

Walmart Transportation's Gary Harms is National Truck Driving Grand Champion

August 26, 2013

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Gary Harms, a Walmart Transportation professional truck driver based in Olathe, Kan., was named the 2013 National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion.

Gary's driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 422 other professional truckdrivers from all across the United States in the National Truck Driving Championships, held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 76th annual "Super Bowl of Safety" is sponsored by the American Trucking Associations.

In route to his title, Gary has logged 30 years as a driver, with over 1.7 million miles behind the wheel. Gary began competing in his state truck driving championships in 2007, and this is his second trip to the National Truck Driving Championships. In 2011, Gary placed first in 4-axle class.

Ina Daly, a Con-way Freight professional truck driver from Avondale, Az., was named the 2013 Bendix National Truck Driving Championship Tanker Truck Champion. Ms. Daly is the first woman driver to ever win a national title in the 76-year history of the National Truck Driving Championship.
 
Ina has been a professional truck driver for 32 years, during that time she has: driven over 2.5 million accident-free miles; competed in the Arizona Truck Driving Championship more than 18 times; served as an American Road Team Captain, the premier public outreach program led by a small group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway. Ina has represented Arizona at the National Truck Driving Championship 10 times.  In 2010, Ina was the only driver to score 100% on the written portion of the exam.

The contestants were the state champions in nine truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven 605,654,659 accident-free miles.

In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside the Salt Palace Convention Center challenged their knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. The skills course tested drivers' ability to judge distances, maneuver tight spaces, reverse, park, and position their vehicle exactly over scales, before barriers or around curves.

Gary also won the individual 5-Axle Sleeper driving competition. Joining Gary and Ina as champions in their respective classes:

Three-Axle: MA - Roland Buldoc, Fedex Express, East Longmeadow, Mass.
Four-Axle: NM - Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System, Inc., Rio Rancho, N. Mex.
Five-Axle: VA - George Johnson, UPS Freight, Aylett, Va.
Flatbed Class:  KY - Richard Wayne Crowder, FedEx Freight, Lanesville, Ind.
Sleeper Berth Class: KS - Gary Harms, Walmart Transportation, Olathe, Kan.
Straight Truck: MD - James Carver, Owings, Md.
Tank Truck Class:  AZ - Ina Daly, Con-way Freight, Avondale, Ariz.
Twins: ID:  Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Inc., Fruitland, Idaho
Step Van:  OK:  Justin Kingsley, FedEx Ground, Tulsa, Okla.

Bruce Renton, a driver for Holland from Grand Rapids, Mich., was named 2013 Rookie of the Year after competing in the Straight Truck division.  Renton has 13 years behind the wheel and over 900,000 accident-free miles.

The Kansas state truck driving championship team won honors as the highest scoring state team, with Wisconsin coming in second, followed by Vermont.

2013 National Truck Driving Championship Winners:

Grand Champion:  Gary Harms, Walmart Transportation (Olathe, Kan.)
National Rookie of the Year: Bruce Renton, Holland (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
State Team Trophy: Kansas
Vehicle Condition Award: Don Logan, FedEx Freight (Eskridge, Kan.)
Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award: Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System, Inc. (Rio Rancho, N.M.)
Life-Time Volunteer Award: John Killilee, Meridian, ID

Perfect Score on Written Exam:   


   --  Judd Adams, Con-way Freight, Straight Truck, Taylorville, Utah
   --  Ina Daly, Con-way Freight, Tank Truck, Avondale, Ariz.
   --  Donald Logan, FedEx Freight, Flatbed, Eskridge, Kan.
   --  Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Twins, Fruitland, Idaho
   --  Jeffrey Thompson, FedEx Freight, 3-Axle, Olathe, Kan.

National Champions:

Straight Truck Class

   1. James Carver, Maryland (Owings)
   2. Judd Adams, Con-way Freight, Utah (Taylorville)
   3. Daniel Jones, FedEx Freight, Kansas (Topeka)

3-Axle Class

   1. Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express, Massachusetts (E. Longmeadow)
   2. Eric Courville, FedEx Freight, Louisiana (Breaux Bridge)
   3. Jason Harrington, Con-way Freight, North Dakota (Bismarck)

4-Axle Class

   1. Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System, New Mexico (Rio Rancho)
   2. Thomas Griffin, FedEx Freight, Connecticut (Wallingfod)
   3. Jeremy Steger, Con-way Freight, Wisconsin (Fond du Lac)

5-Axle Class

   1. George Johnson, UPS Freight, Virginia (Aylett)
   2. Harold Snyder, North Carolina (King)
   3. Ivan Nikolic, FedEx Ground, Illinois (Chicago)

Flatbed Class

   1. Richard Wayne Crowder, FedEx Freight, Kentucky (Lanesville, Ind.)
   2. Larry Rhein, FedEx Freight, Arkansas (Harrison)
   3. Paul Brandon, FedEx Freight, Connecticut (Oxford)

Tank Truck Class

   1. Ina Daly, Con-way Freight, Arizona (Avondale)
   2. Tony Spero, ABF Freight System, Connecticut (Stratford)
   3. Jason Matte, FedEx Freight, Mississippi (Flowood)

Twins Class

   1. Timothy Melody, ABF Freight System, Idaho (Fruitland)
   2. Alfonso Saavedra, Con-way Freight, California (Watsonville)
   3. Barry Kraemer, Con-way Freight, Wisconsin (New Holstein)

Sleeper Berth Class

   1. Gary Harms, Walmart Transportation, Kansas (Olathe)
   2. Leo Flack, A. Duie Pyle, Pennsylvania  (West Chester)
   3. Timothy Sproles, UPS Freight, Tennessee (Bristol, Virginia)

Step Van

   1. Justin Kingsley, FedEx Ground, Oklahoma (Tulsa)
   2. Salvatore Vincelli, FedEx Ground, Pennsylvania (Allentown)
   3. Michael Forchetti, FedEx Express, Maryland (Frederick)

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