The 2016 National Truck Driving Championships winner, Charles White Photo: ATA

The 2016 National Truck Driving Championships winner, Charles White Photo: ATA

American Trucking Associations is set to welcome more than 420 of the trucking industry’s top truck drivers to Orlando, Fla.,  for the 80th annual National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships.

The National Truck Driving Championships opens August 9 with competitors taking a walk through of the driving course and registering for the different events.

Participants in different vehicle classes will partake in three phases of competition: a written examination testing background knowledge of rules and procedures pertinent to the trucking industry, a vehicle inspection to test competitors’ ability to detect vehicle malfunctions, and a driving skills test where competitors are graded on their ability to operate a truck through a series of obstacles.

“Safety and precision will be the focus of these impressive professional truck drivers during this week in Orlando as they compete for honors at the National Truck Driving Championships,” said Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO. “Truck drivers work their entire careers and practice for moments like this to showcase their safety skills and compete among friends.”

Over four days, 428 competitors from all 50 states, including 35 first-time participants, representing 97 companies will compete for honors in one of eight different classes for the distinction of being crowned National Truck Driving Championships Bendix Grand Champion.

The competition concludes on Aug. 12 with the announcement of the National Truck Driving Championships Bendix Grand Champion, along with the winners of each vehicle class and awards for the top performing state delegation, rookie of the year, and other recognitions.

“These championships are a great spectacle and I couldn’t be more proud to interact with drivers from all corners of the country,” said Kevin Burch ATA Chairman, president of Jet Express. “The drivers take this event very seriously and practice and study year-round in preparation for the competition. Their dedication to their craft is really remarkable and representative of the trucking industry’s strong commitment to safety.”