Congratulations to our 20 Drivers Headed to NTDC 2018

Twenty professional YRC Freight drivers have currently qualified to compete at the 2018 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC), the “Superbowl of Safety,” in Columbus, Ohio. Sponsored by the American Trucking Association, the event will be held August 15-18, 2018 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

These 20 YRC Freight professionals and state champions will compete against more than 430 of the nation’s most elite professional drivers in a variety of safety challenges and competitions.
YRC Freight National Truck Driving Champions 2018To qualify for NTDC, drivers must first take top honors by class in their respective state competitions, maintain continuous employment with a motor carrier fleet for a period of at least one year, and remain accident-free, regardless of fault, for one year prior to NTDC.

The competition consists of: 1) driver skills challenge; 2) pre-trip inspection; 3) written exam on subjects such as laws, regulations and vehicle maintenance. Winners are determined based on overall scores at the end of competition. First, second, and third place finishers compete for each class, plus a Professional Excellence Award, Vehicle Condition Award, Rookie of the Year Award, and the ultimate–the Grand Champion Award (the competitor with the highest overall score across all classes).

“The National Truck Driving Championships is a highly prestigious event,” said T.J. O’Connor, president of YRC Freight. “Just qualifying for the competition is a first-class accomplishment in itself. We are very proud of these 18 professional drivers who are safety champions in their respective states. Through a lot of hard work, dedication and a committed safety focus, they have established themselves as some of the very best drivers in the United States. We wish them all the best of luck and thank them for their constant dedication to safety excellence.”

Champion State Class
Alphonso Lewis AL 3-Axle
Bill Krouse MN Twins
Bruce Quaal MN 4-Axle
Daryl Johnson NE Flatbed
Henry Mahler FL Twins
Jeff Rose OH Twins
Jerry Kraetsch* MN Flatbed
Jimmy Wisely KS 3-Axle
John Brownawell PA Twins
Mark Fitterer MN Sleeper
Michael Appelman KS Flatbed
Neil Nogues* NH Straight Truck
Onesimo Gandara TX Sleeper
Paul Unser ID Straight Truck
Randy Ragsdale OK Flatbed
Scott Archer IL Straight Truck
Stevie Armstrong MS Straight Truck
Tim McNamee MN 5-Axle
Timothy Smith UT 5-Axle
Wade Wagemann* SD Twins

* Neil Nogues and Wade Wagemann are Grand Champions from their state competitions. Jerry Kraetsch won the Howie Johnson Memorial Professional Excellence award at his state competition. Steve Tobolic and Peter Orgass won the Pre-Trip Award at their state competitions. Mike Johnson was awarded NM Rookie of the Year. Joe Wright won NM’s Driver of the Year. Wilson Meier was chosen as the NY Driver of the Year.

Of note, this was the second consecutive year the Minnesota TDC was held at the YRC Freight terminal. Each of our eight drivers made it to finals and seven brought home an award. These professional drivers earned 5 first place trophies, 2 third place trophies, the Large Team award, a Professional Excellence award and the Grand Champion award: Bill Krouse, first place Twins; Mark Fitterer, first place Sleeper Berth; Jerry Kraetsch, first place Flatbed; Tim McNamee, first place 5-Axle; Bruce Quaal, first place 4-Axle. Nate Walker, third place Tanker; Jeff Skinner, third place 5-Axle; John Hemmingson, fourth place 3-Axle.

The National Truck Driving Championships bring elite drivers, the “best of the best,” dedicated safety professionals and their families together for a special week of comradery and pride. Most drivers who attend say that it is one of the highlights of their careers.

We wish them the best of luck.

Fans and supporters of YRC Freight professional drivers are invited to follow their NTDC progress on Facebook.