August 12, 2012
Don Logan, a FedEx Freight professional truck driver from Topeka, Kan., was named the 2012 Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion this weekend in Minneapolis.Logan's driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 425 other professional drivers from all across the United States in the National Truck Driving Championships, sponsored by the American Trucking Associations.The contestants were the state champions in nine truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven more than 604 million accident-free miles.In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside the Minneapolis 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.Logan has logged 25 years as a professional truck driver, with more than 2.1 million miles behind the wheel. He began competing in his state truck driving championships in 2006, and this year he made his sixth trip to the National Truck Driving Championships. This is the third win for Don at the state level, placing first in the three-axle class in 2009 and in the twins class in 2010.Logan also won the individual flatbed truck driving competition. Other champions in their respective classes:Straight Truck: Robert Dolan, Con-way Freight, Allentown, Pa.Three-Axle: Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express, Windsor, Conn.Four-Axle: Scott Stroup, YRC Freight, Omaha, Neb.Five-Axle: Michael Grogan, Con-way Freight, Boise, IdahoFlatbed: Donald Logan, FedEx Freight, Topeka, Kan.Tank Truck: Brent Quire, Con-way Freight, Louisville, Ky.Twins: Michael Umphrey, Con-way Freight, Decatur, Ala.Sleeper Berth: Leo Flack, A. Duie Pyle, Inc., West Chester, Pa.Step Van: Edward Gertz, FedEx Express, Londonderry, N.H.Don Logan succeeds Paul Phillips, a professional truck driver with Con-way Freight from Coarsegold, Calif., as the National Grand Champion.Robert Sutton, a driver for ABF Freight System, Inc. from Boise, Idaho, was named the 2012 National Rookie of the Year after competing in the Three-Axle division. The Pennsylvania state truck driving championship team won honors as the highest scoring state team, followed by Washington and Georgia respectively. This marks the 15(th) time Pennsylvania has won the state trophy, the first dating back to 1956.Logan also won the Vehicle Condition Award, one of the longest running NTDC awards. The Vehicle Condition Award recognizes the contestant who has proven during this competition that he or she has a thorough understanding of equipment, an extraordinary ability to inspect and evaluate a truck's condition, and unequivocal commitment to safety. Denis Litalien, a driver for Clifford W. Perham, Inc., from Wells, Maine, was awarded the Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award. Litalien participated in the Five-Axle competition.Marking his 20(th) year as a volunteer at the state level and 14 years at the national level, Jack Taylor was awarded the Life-Time Volunteer Award.