A total of four Holland professional drivers have won division titles at their individual state truck driving competitions to qualify for the 2013 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC). Our first driver to qualify for NTDC was Ohio five-axle champion Russell Simpson on May 4 at the 2013 Ohio Truck Driving Championships. Two of our champions, Bruce Renton (straight truck division) and Jim Looks (tanker division) earned top honors June 7-8 at the 2013 Michigan State Truck Driving Championships. Bruce was also the honored recipient of the 2013 Rookie of the Year Award. Then, this past weekend our fourth state safety champion battled to triumph. Holland professional driver Marty Blandford won the five-axle division at the June 21-22, 2013 Indiana State Truck Driving Championships. Team Holland also won the team trophy at
In order to qualify for these safety competitions, all four professional drivers had to drive the entire year prior without a single accident. Competitions include a written exam, pre-trip inspection and a driven obstacle course. Composite scores are then used to measure driver performance and determine winners.
Russell Simpson, Holland city driver, has been driving professionally for 27 years and has been driving for Holland 21 years. Domiciled at our Columbus, Ohio service center, Russ has competed in state truck driving safety competitions since 2008 when he earned first place in five-axle division and was named Ohio Rookie of the Year.
Operating out of our Holland Grand Rapids service center as a city driver and dockworker, Bruce Renton has been with Holland since April 2012 but has been in the transportation industry for 13 years. This is his first year taking part in truck driving competitions.
Jim Looks has been driving professionally for Holland for 18 years and operates as a linehaul driver out of the Holland Grand Rapids, Mich. service center. Looks has been competing in truck driving competitions since 2010. This year marks his first first-place finish.
Marty Blandford has been driving accident-free for Holland as a city driver since 1992 out of the Jeffersonville, Ind. service center. Marty has safety in his blood. He has competed in state competitions over the last 21 years racking up nine first place wins, four second places, two third places and one fourth place. This year will be this safety champion's ninth trip to the National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC).
All four Holland state safety winners have now qualified to participate in the 2013 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC) in Salt Lake City, August 20-24. The "Super Bowl of Safety," NTDC brings state champions together to compete against nearly 400 drivers for national titles in eight different classes of vehicles and for the overall title of National Grand Champion.
"The significance of truck driving competitions cannot be overstated," said Scott Ware, Holland President. "Aside from helping to hone driver safety skills and bringing pride to the company, these competitions work to promote a culture of safety and a dedication that is truly invaluable. We thank Russ, Jim, Bruce, and Marty for their commitment to safety and congratulate them for receiving the well deserved rewards for that commitment. Best of luck to our four state safety champions as they compete against the best of the best at the National Truck Driving Championships."