Together, the 23 drivers have earned 67 state championships and more than 450 years of accident-free driving.
"These safety-first drivers, a mix of veteran and relative newcomers to the competition, represent the most skilled professionals in the trucking industry," said Phil Warren, UPS Freight vice president for community affairs. "For UPS and all competitors, the Nationals - the acknowledged Super Bowl of Safety - represent a showcase of our industry's top drivers."
The veterans participating this year include Ralph Gragg of Charleston, W.Va., who is making his 11th trip to the contest, and Dennis Kendrick of Richmond, Va., who won his third straight and ninth overall Virginia title this year.
Jeff Kalinowski and Bill Raff from Illinois are first-time state winners making their way to the championship, competing in the three-axle and step van competitions, respectively. Ron Seltzer from Texas will also participate in the step van portion for his first run.
The 23 UPS drivers come from 14 states and captured team titles in the state championships of four states, including South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
The state and national competitions include difficult driving skills tests, maneuvering tests, equipment inspections and exams covering safety policies and regulations. More than 400 drivers from across the nation will compete in Pittsburgh in nine equipment classes between August 18 and 22.