Sunday, August 19, 2012

Road Haulage Industry Honours Truck Drivers and Safety Inspectors

Twin Annual Events Promote Better Practices
Shipping News Feature

US – Sometimes the most light hearted of events can have a serious purpose and preceding the so called “Super Bowl of Safety”, a four day event devoted to finding the best professional truck drivers working in the country’s road haulage industry there is a lesser known, but fiercely competitive, challenge for another group of trucking industry professionals who play literally a life and death role when it comes to keeping the highways safer.

The men and women responsible for the inspection of the big rigs which thunder down the nation’s freeways met up last week for a light hearted, yet fiercely contested, competition to find MVP in their field by becoming top dog in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC).

NAIC 2012, was co sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) whose Administrator Anne Ferro was present to present the Grand Champion award to Christopher Smithen, a certified inspector from the Nevada Highway Patrol. The event is held annually in conjunction with the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) National Truck Driving Championship (NTDC). It is the only event dedicated to recognizing and rewarding commercial vehicle inspector excellence.

NAIC provides more than just a competition however with each inspector receiving training on the latest safety information, technology, standards and inspection procedures while sharing ideas, techniques and experiences with other inspectors. The six categories of tests for the championship range from physical examinations of vehicles including hazardous goods trucks and motor coaches to written examination with each category producing winners with awards for second and third places.. All of the inspection categories are timed events and the compilation of scores for these categories result in a Grand Champion.

Participants represent the US plus Mexico and Canada and the event is designed to promote uniformity of inspections through education. NAIC takes place at the same time and location as the American Trucking Associations' National Truck Driving Championship, where the safest commercial vehicle drivers compete for their own title of Grand Champion which this year was won by Don Logan, a FedEx Freight driver from Topeka, Kansas who beat off more than four hundred other contestants all participating in a series of tests.

Logan’s vast experience with over two million miles logged in a twenty five year career helped him to add to his already impressive list of awards having already attained two national titles in individual categories plus six state titles. This year’s four hundred and twenty five contestants were the state champions in nine truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven an astounding 604,122,031 accident-free miles.