FedEx Freight driver Mark Dietsche of Salem, Ore., beat out 360 other professional drivers to become the 2003 National Truck Driving Grand Champion.
The contestants, who were the state champions (in nine truck types) from all 50 states, competed in the National Truck Driving Championships in Columbus, Ohio, in August. The annual event is sponsored by the American Trucking Associations.
In their respective classes, drivers compared their expertise in the skills they use daily. The tests included an alley dock, a rear line stop, a side park, a scales stop, a right turn, a front line stop and straight line driving through a diminishing clearance.
Dietsche, who also won the individual Straight Truck competition, succeeds Yellow Transportation driver James March of Pennsylvania as the Grand Champion.
The following drivers were champions in their respective classes:
Pennsylvania’s driver delegation brought home the team trophy as the state with
the highest scores and final placements.
Collectively, the 2003 National Truck Driving Championship contestants have driven over 438 million accident-free miles.
In conjunction with the National Truck Driving Championships, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance – representing commercial vehicle enforcement officers from the U.S., Canada and Mexico – held its annual North American Inspectors Championship. Jeff Byers of the Colorado State Patrol claimed the Grand Champion honors.