Special Coverage of the National Truck Driving Championships

2014 NTDC Grand Champion Langenhahn Ready for Encore

XPO Driver Set to Take Course in Twins Class
Jeffrey Langenhahn
Jeffrey Langenhahn, competing in the twins class, hopes to recapture the magic of 2014 when he earned grand champion honors. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — To understand the evolution of the country’s premier precision-driving tournament, look at the grand champion award.

Unveiled five decades after the start of the National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships in 1937, this prestigious prize is designed to punctuate the pinnacle of a commercial driver’s career.

Two elite drivers competing at American Trucking Associations’ 86th annual edition of the summer classic have earned the grand champion recognition. Wisconsin’s Jeffrey Langenhahn with XPO, competing in his 11th national contest, is one of them, and Connecticut’s Roland Bolduc is the other.

Driving in the twin trailers, a class scheduled to tackle the event’s intricate course Aug. 18, Langenhahn won the coveted blue ribbon trophy in 2014 in Pittsburgh. That year, he competed in the twins class.

NTDC 2023

2023 National Truck Driving Championships

NTDC Qualifiers |  Photo Gallery | Map of State Champions

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

The accolade from nearly a decade ago is one that continues to motivate, educate and dictate his performances. Importantly, the grand champion distinction contributes greatly to his confidence.

As he told Transport Topics recently, “You have a little bit more confidence knowing, it’s like, OK, you’ve done it before.”

“I know what it takes, you know, you still have to have a good day on the [driving] course,” he explained. “Sometimes you can just miss something by a quarter of an inch, and that’s the difference. So you still have to have a good day on the course and pre-trip [inspection], and written [exam].

Getting to Know You

Jeffrey Langenhahn


Name: Jeff Langenhahn

Age: 57

From: Plover, Wis.

Company: XPO

Vehicle: Twin trailers

Favorite food: Fresh cheese curds

Last movie you watched: “Almost Heroes”

Sports hero: Former NFL wide receiver Jordy Nelson

Why do you compete at NTDC: The camaraderie and “to see where I measure up with the best of the best in the nation.”

All-time favorite vacation: Black Hills of South Dakota

Something people don’t know about you: “I’m an avid snowmobiler.”

"But you have more of a sense of your ability to be able to do it. You just have a little more confidence.”

To this day, having won grand champion at the national “Super Bowl of Safety” remains Langenhahn’s ultimate career highlight.

“Yes, I remember that very vividly and how I felt. And there’s so many people that are happy for me and, you know, celebrate it,” he said. “That was awesome. So I hope to get back there again. I hope to win the grand champion award again.”

Langenhahn and reigning grand champion Bolduc with FedEx Express are scheduled to maneuver through the NTDC course Aug. 18. Bolduc, the grand champion in 2017 and again last year, is competing in the sleeper berth class.

“I’ve talked to him quite a bit,” Langenhahn said about Bolduc. “Especially last year, I think me and him talked more than in the past. Like in the finals in the bullpen, when we were waiting to go out on the finals course, we really got to talking and stuff and it was nice. It was very nice.”

Other Wisconsin winners:

Grand Champion: Neal LeClaire, Duplainville Transport

3-Axle: Barry Kraemer, XPO

4-Axle: Andy Rynearson, XPO

5-Axle: Edward Borntrager, Ruan Transportation

Flatbed: Matthew Boenisch, FedEx Freight

Sleeper Berth: Neal LeClaire , Duplainville Transport

Step Van: No competition held

Straight Truck: Neal Jartowski, Old Dominion Freight Line

Tank Truck: Jason Gaulitz, Ruan Transportation

Roland Bolduc (left) and Jeffrey Langenhahn

Two-time NTDC champion Roland Bolduc (left) shares a laugh with Jeffrey Langenhahn, the 2014 champion, at last year's event in Indianapolis. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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