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Overdrive Staff | September 01, 2011

Paul Phillips, a Con-way Freight driver from Coarsegold, Calif., was named 2011 Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion Aug. 13.

Phillips’ driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 428 other drivers in the championships, held in Orlando, Fla.

The 74th annual “Super Bowl of Safety” is sponsored by the American Trucking Associations. Phillips has logged 35 years as a professional driver, with more than 1.6 million miles behind the wheel. He began competing in his state truck driving championships in 2004, and this year he made his second trip to the National Truck Driving Championships.

The contestants were state champions in nine truck types from all 50 states.

Phillips also won the individual straight truck driving competition. Joining Phillips as champions in their respective classes:

• Three-Axle: John Hazlett, ABF Freight System Inc., Philadelphia;

• Four-Axle: Gary Harms, Wal-mart Transportation, Olathe, Kan.;

• Five-Axle: Hershel Evans, Holland, Bremen, Ga.;

• Flatbed: Edward Hawkins, Leavitt’s Freight Service, Springfield, Ore.;

• Tank Truck: Leo Flack, A. Duie Pyle Inc., West Chester, Pa.;

• Twins: Jeffrey W. Payne, Reddaway, Cedar City, Utah;

• Sleeper Berth: Joshua Carr, Wal-mart Transportation, McCall, Idaho; and

• Step Van: James Sheehan, FedEx Ground, Hendersonville, Tenn.

— Staff reports



SHORT HAULS

FOR-HIRE FREIGHT as measured by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s index rose 2.6 percent in June from May and 4.1 percent from a year earlier.

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION trade between the United States and Canada and Mexico was 16 percent higher in May than in May 2010, totaling $77 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

MANUFACTURING expanded in July for the 24th consecutive month, but just barely, according to the Institute for Supply Management. New orders are contracting, says ISM.



HIGHWAY HAPPENINGS

GEORGIA. The state has received a federal loan from the Federal Highway Administration for the proposed Northwest Corridor Project that would add express toll lanes to I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties. The $1 billion project is to include a private operator that will repay the federal loan using toll revenue.

ILLINOIS. Beginning Jan. 1, truckers and four-wheelers will share a 65 mph speed limit on four-lane highways outside the Chicago area.

INDIANA. I-70 lanes will be closed from State Road 59 to two miles east of State Road 267 for a resurfacing project that’s scheduled to be completed by Nov. 22. Additional work will extend the project until May 18.

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