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.
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
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