By Sarah Cottrell
The Truck Driving Championships are back! 2022 will be the first in-person Truck Driving Championship competition since the pandemic started, and many in the Maine trucking industry are very excited. This competition has been a bright spot for professional truckers since 1937, when it was then known as the National Truck Rodeo.
“This year is the first time hosting these events in-person in the last two years, and the turnout so early in the process has been incredible — people are really eager to participate in these safety events and see friends they haven’t seen in a while,” said Brian Parke, President and CEO of Maine Motor Transport Association.
The annual competition is a point of pride for Maine’s professional truck drivers. Not only do drivers come together to show off their outstanding mastery of all aspects of truck safety and driving, but they use the day to learn from one another and improve their knowledge and trucking skills.
Some of the fun challenges in the competition include components that test each driver’s knowledge and skill sets related to highway rules and regulations, safety and security, highways and bridges, fire safety, and so much more. Competitors will have the opportunity to show off their pre-trip skills by searching for simulated defects on their trucks. Maine State DOT inspectors will plant these defects to try and stump the competitors.
Competitors will get to flex their driving skills as they use precision and accuracy to maneuver through a difficult driving course. This portion of the competition will be in full view of spectators and will undoubtedly be a fun time.
Winners of the Maine Motors Transport Association’s Truck Driving Championships will move on to the national championships hosted by the American Trucking Associations. At the national competition, contestants will compete for highly coveted awards such as the Professional Excellence Award, the Vehicle Condition Award, the Rookie of the Year Award, and, of course, the most coveted award of all, The Grand Champion award.
This year, the state-level competition will be held on May 31 at the Dysart’s Trailer Shop in Hermon.
For trucking enthusiasts looking for more good old-fashioned competitions, the Professional Technician Skills Competition is held on the same day over at the Eastern Maine Community College campus.
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