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May 8, 2019 5:45 PM, EDT

Industry Veteran of 46 Years Wins It All in South Carolina

Ralph Hamilton, South Carolina Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion ODFL's Ralph Hamilton with his Grand Champion trophy. With him are (from left) Tim Birmingham, S.C. TDC vice chairman, Col. Leroy Taylor, S.C. State Transport Police, and Casey O'Dell, S.C. TDC chairwoman, in Columbia. (S.C. Trucking Association)

With a perfect written exam score, a solid pre-trip inspection and a 265 out of 300 on his road skills, Ralph Hamilton of Old Dominion Freight Line clinched his Grand Champion title at the South Carolina Truck Driving Championships.

Hamilton beat out five-time South Carolina Grand Champion Ronnie Luckadoo in the 3-Axle division to move on to the National Truck Driving Championships in Pittsburgh on Aug. 14-17.

SOUTH CAROLINA ARCHIVE PAGE: Previews, recaps and more

More than 80 drivers competed in the South Carolina championships May 3-4 in Columbia.

Hamilton has accumulated more than 5 million safe driving miles during his 46 years as a driver. Forty-one of those years have been with ODFL.

2019 NTDC

The 2019 National Truck Driving Championships

Qualifiers | Map | Photos | Video

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

Where: Pittsburgh

PHOTOS: 2019 South Carolina Truck Driving Championships

In 2003, Hamilton was named an America’s Road Team captain for his leadership and expertise on the road. America’s Road Team is an American Trucking Associations program that recognizes safe driving and leadership in the trucking industry. Hamilton also served on ODFL’s road team from 1998 to 1999.

2019 SCHEDULE: State-by-state list

FedEx Freight driver Kevin Doll earned Rookie of the Year, and UPS Freight had the best overall team performance.

Advancing to nationals from South Carolina are:

  • 3-Axle: Ralph Hamilton, Old Dominion Freight Line
  • 4-Axle: Marty Knopf, Walmart Transportation
  • 5-Axle: Richard McCoy, C&S Wholesale Service
  • Flatbed: J.B. Quarles, Walmart Transportation
  • Sleeper Berth: Kevin Smith, Old Dominion Freight Line
  • Tank Truck: Bill Driskill, Superior Carriers
  • Twins: James Belcher, UPS Freight
  • Straight Truck: David Eggert, Old Dominion Freight Line
  • Step Van: Eddie Days, FedEx Express