Industry Praises Top Drivers, Technician at Annual Conference

ORLANDO, Fla. ­­— Two national champions, and the national driver of the year were treated to standing ovations during an event Oct. 22 celebrating the trucking industry’s exemplars.

National Truck Driving Championships grand champion Roland Bolduc of FedEx Express, along with TMC SuperTech grand champion Mark McLean, a technician with FedEx Freight, and Gary Plant, a Wal-Mart driver from Colorado, commanded center stage before executives with American Trucking Associations during a luncheon at the annual Management Conference & Exhibition.

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“This industry provides constant examples of hard work and professionalism exhibited by its people on a daily basis,” ATA President Chris Spear said in a statement. “Today, we take a moment to honor groups of people and companies that have gone above and beyond in the pursuit of excellence to earn the title of champion and promote safety throughout our vital industry.”

RELATED: FedEx Express driver Roland Bolduc reigned supreme at NTDC

Bolduc won this year’s contest here in August, surpassing more than 400 competitors. A driver with FedEx Express for 23 years, he accrued nearly 2 million safe-driving miles. In 2000, he was an America’s Road Team Captain. His winning strategy, as he told Transport Topics shortly after his win, was: “Practice. Practice. Practice. And always, just safety; that’s No. 1.”

McLean is the first three-time winner of the TMC SuperTech competition, which also was held here a month after the driving championships. He was a runner-up last year and helped lead FedEx Freight to a fifth consecutive victory in the team competition.

After his victory, he told TT he felt “ecstatic” about the unprecedented third overall win.

Plant, a driver with Wal-Mart in Loveland, Colo., has more than four decades of experience driving professionally, during which time he has accrued 4.4 million accident-free miles.