August 13, 2018 10:00 AM, EDT

Capitol Agenda for the Week of Aug. 13: Grand Champions

Driving competition at 2017 NTDCDriving competition at 2017 National Truck Driving Championships in Orlando, Fla.

For four scores, thousands of truck drivers have practiced countless hours in pursuit of the industry’s top prize: Grand Champion.

Many have fallen short in their quest. On Aug. 18 at the National Truck Driving Championships in Columbus, Ohio, 423 drivers will join the ranks of the fallen, while one driver will be crowned the next grand champion.

Six competitors at this year’s competition have already been to the mountaintop. Like the Energizer Bunny they keep going and going. They dominate at their state qualifiers to consistently return to the national arena for another taste of sweet victory.

At the time of their wins at nationals, Transport Topics was there to capture the reaction:

XPO Logistics driver Bob Dolan


1990: Bob Dolan of Pennsylvania, then with A-P-A Transport, competing in straight truck: (Asked if he would return to defend his title the following year) “I’m going to try. But the competition at the state level and at the company level is very stiff. I won the state by one point this year, and it was because of my score on the written test. I was elated to make the nationals. I’m very happy it worked out this way.”

2007: Alphonso Lewis of Alabama, then with Roadway Express, competing in 4-axle: “I feel like I was wired to do this.”

2008: Dennis Shirar from Indiana, then with Heritage Transport, competing in straight truck: “This made all the weekends and weekdays of practice pay off. … I’m in disbelief, astonished and exhilarated.”

FedEx Freight driver Don Logan


2012: Don Logan of Kansas with FedEx Freight, competing in flatbed. “I enjoy going down the road and operating a large piece of equipment. … It provides a great income to support my family and, as corny as it might seem, I’m moving a little piece of America every night.”

2014: Jeff Langenhahn of Wisconsin, then with Con-way Freight, competing in twins: (After the victory his family welcomed him home in style) “We came home from the airport, and they had a nice thing on the driveway with sidewalk chalk — ‘Congratulations, Grand Champion Trucker.’ ”

2017: Roland Bolduc of Massachusetts with FedEx Express, competing in sleeper berth: “We gotta stay safe. And, you gotta keep safety as a frame of mind.”

THE WEEK AHEAD: (all times EDT)

Aug. 13, 5:30 p.m.: The National Press Club hosts a book discussion on “The Briefing: Politics, The Press and The President.”

Aug. 15: The U.S. Senate convenes.

Aug. 15-18: National Truck Driving Championships in Columbus, Ohio.


DUDE, WHERE’S MY TRUCK: Engine maker Cummins Inc. announced it will voluntarily recall 500,000 model-year 2010-15 medium- and heavy-duty trucks to replace a defective catalyst in the emissions control system. 

MOST EXCLUSIVE CLUB: An aviation policy bill that includes a meal-and-rest-break provision pertaining to truckers is among the measures awaiting debate when the U.S. Senate returns from a shortened summer break Aug. 15, according to the chamber’s Republican leadership.

LIQUID GOLD: Pilot Flying J is expanding its business portfolio with a move into the water, sand and crude oil-hauling business


How would you fare on the written test given to the competitors at this year’s National Truck Driving Championships? You can get an idea by taking our quiz based on the “Facts for Drivers” book used to test drivers’ proficiency.


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Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao at a conference hosted by the American Legislative Exchange Council on Aug. 8

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao


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The September Issue

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