Jadrossich Fine-Tunes Preparation for Nationals
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Rather than simply overthinking his approach to precision-driving contests, John Jadrossich, a FedEx Freight driver, decided to embrace the art of cool relaxation.
Turns out adopting a laid back, somewhat chill style for truck safety tournaments is basically all there is to it for Jadrossich, the grand champion at this year’s New York Truck Driving Championships.
“I think I try to relax, you know, not to be so nervous,” he told Transport Topics recently. “In the past, early on, it was difficult. You know, now I think I’m more confident.
“Yeah, I’m not totally relaxed, but it’s much easier to relax now, and just take a breath and do what you do every day.”
Who: Winners from nine categories at the state level who have advanced to the national competition, where a Grand Champion will be crowned
What: Contestants are judged on a written exam, pre-trip inspection and driving skills
When: Aug. 16-19
Where: Columbus, Ohio
His impressive blue-ribbon victory in the Empire State came in the competitive 3-axle class June 9.
Later this month, Jadrossich will face off against fellow 3-axle drivers in Columbus, Ohio, for a shot at another blue-ribbon title. This time, the forum will be the 86th annual National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships.
It marks Jadrossich’s third trip to American Trucking Associations’ “Super Bowl of Safety.”
Similar to his performance at states, Jadrossich intends to display his brand of upstate New York cool relaxation at nationals. Weekends are an ideal time to train maneuvers leading up to the four-day safety contest, which kicks off Aug. 16.
Jadrossich explained his typical training schedule: “Sometimes summers get busy, so it’s hard. But, you know, we have a good group in my terminal that we get together and … we set the practices and our wives help set up our pre-trips [inspections], and we all give it a shot.”
Getting to Know You
Name: John Jadrossich
Favorite Movie: “The Shawshank Redemption”
Sports Hero: My children
What is the last song you heard: “Try That In A Small Town” by Jason Aldean
What is the best part of NTDC: Reuniting with friends. “It’s an amazing group of people. Everyone has a good attitude. Everyone is polite and courteous. So it’s really a great event.”
What is something people don’t know about you: “I’ve flown an airplane solo, before.”
What’s your all-time favorite vacation: Lake Champlain, N.Y.
His fun, keep-it-simple brand of training consists of meaningful sessions, or as he put it, “Everything that you do in the practice — backing into a door, drive around the yard — you pick out marks and try to pretend like you score on it. And reading the book and practice and the pre-trip technique and try to have fun.”
The division that traditionally has been hardest to call at NTDC has been the 3-axle. The class is notorious for being home to the tournament’s highest point-scorers. This was true in 2022.
Awareness about this axiom often motivates competitors to tackle the driving course with a boom-or-bust approach.
“It’s a lot of high scores in 3-axle,” Jadrossich observed, appreciative of the 3-axle dictum at nationals. “It has always been a highly competitive class.”
4-Axle: Martin McMahon, RIST Transport
5-Axle: Randy Merle, FedEx Freight
Flatbed: Randy Swart, FedEx Express
Sleeper Berth: David Cady, Walmart
Step Van: Patrick Collins, FedEx Express
Straight Truck: James Kohr, FedEx Express
Tank Truck: Matthew Benson. Dairy Farmers of America NE
Twins: Mark McLean, FedEx Freight
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