Barry Kraemer, a driver for XPO Logistics, is no stranger to the Wisconsin Truck Driving Championships. At this year’s competition, held May 17-18 at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Kraemer took home his third Grand Champion win.
Who: Winners from nine categories at the state level have advanced to the national competition, where a Grand Champion will be crowned
What: Contestants are judged on a written examination and their driving skills
When: Aug. 14-17
Kraemer, who competed this year in the 3-Axle division, has participated in Wisconsin’s tournament nine times and won the Grand Champion designation in 2014 and 2015. This year will mark his sixth time traveling to the National Truck Driving Championships, which will take place Aug. 14-17 in Pittsburgh.
Kraemer has driven for XPO Logistics, previously Conway, for 15 years. He recently reached 1 million miles with the company.
Kraemer tells Transport Topics that he believes competition truck driving has made him better at his day-to-day profession. “I feel like it makes me a safer driver. I feel like I’m more focused on what should be done and doing it the right way,” Kraemer said.
WISCONSIN ARCHIVE PAGE: Previews, recaps and more
He also spoke highly of the connections made through competing, saying he and his wife have enjoyed making friends in the community. “Nationals is where we see a lot of these people. So, we really do take a lot out of it,” Kraemer said.
The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association placed a special emphasis on those kinds of connections at this year’s state competition, unveiling, for the first time, a Family Fun Zone. The area featured activities, games, food and competitions for children attending the event. And winning may be in the Kraemer family’s blood — his son came home with first place in the coloring competition.
2019 SCHEDULE: State-by-state list
All competitors moving on to nationals:
- 3-Axle: Barry Kraemer, XPO Logistics
- 4-Axle: Andre Rynearson, XPO Logistics
- 5-Axle: Charles Cappelle, Contract Transport Services
- Flatbed: Brent Glassenapp, FedEx Express
- Sleeper Berth: William Minor, Walmart Transportation
- Tank Truck: Tom Fullerton, XPO Logistics
- Twins: George Meierstein, FedEx Freight
- Straight Truck: Zachary Bogstad, FedEx Freight