Special Coverage of the National Truck Driving Championships

Louisiana Trucker Damien Hebert Driven by Details

2022 National Twins Champ From XPO Bound for Fourth NTDC
2022 national twins champ Damien Hebert
XPO driver Damien Hebert of Louisiana displays his national twins championship trophy as (from left) 2022 NTDC Chairman Jason Wing and American Trucking Associations executives Jacob Pierce and John Lynch share the stage. (XPO)

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Louisiana’s Damien Hebert, last year’s national winner in the twin trailers division, is passionate about details.

Devoting attention to details on the course encouraged the XPO driver to study strategies about precision driving competitions. The way one might scrutinize a particular canvas from an artist such as Picasso, Hebert examines driving courses to maximize his performance.

XPO ranks No. 5 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

Hebert credits his passion for details for his win in the twin trailers division at this year’s Louisiana Truck Driving Championships. The contest, held in March, was “one of the toughest” he has endured.

“Being that I definitely won nationals last year … I went in very confident. But man, when I looked at that course, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s definitely going to be an ‘A’ game put on today,’ ” he explained. “It definitely was a challenging course.”

Getting to Know You

XPO driver Damien Hebert

John Sommers II for Transport Topics

Name: Damien Hebert

From: Louisiana

Company: XPO

Favorite Vehicle Class: Twins

Favorite Food: Pizza (meat lovers)

Sports Hero: My daughters

Lucky Charm: “I’m very superstitious. So I wear the same uniforms every year at the competition.”

What Is Your Favorite Moment In Your Trucking Career: “Getting hired at Con-way, which is now XPO.”

Something People Don’t Know About You: “I’m really an avid cornhole [player].”

With the blue ribbon showing in the twins class, the reigning national champion punched his ticket for a fourth trip to the National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships.

For Hebert, training for nationals will begin in earnest this month. As he put it, “I start training every weekend, every day after work, and hitting the books really, really hard around that time.”

In addition to maneuvering their respective trucks on an intricate course, competitors’ acumen also is tested in pre-trip vehicle inspections and an examination of the industry’s rules and regulations.

Competing at nationals entails discipline and mental toughness, Hebert said. Experience has taught him to focus on maneuvering his truck and not on fellow competitors.

“It’s kind of us against the course, to be honest with you. That’s kind of how I go in looking at that,” he said earlier this year. “I try not to look at my competitors who I’m competing against. Any given day, we all can be beat. That’s just the way it is.”

Winning the twins division at last year’s national tournament was unexpected. The victory in 2022 in Indianapolis marked the culmination of years preparing for the big stage.

“It was so surreal, man, I tell you,” Hebert recalled. “It was so unexpected also because I definitely didn’t have my best performance on the course. And so I was very, very shocked to have found out that I won. When they called my name, you could ask my wife, my jaw just kind of dropped because I was in awe.”

NTDC 2023

The Road to the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships

State ScheduleNTDC Qualifiers | Map of State Champions | Photo Gallery

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

If Hebert were to participate in NTDC 2024, he would have to do so in a different class. Competitors are allowed to compete in the same class for two consecutive years, then must sit out that class for two years before being eligible again. 

This year’s trucking industry “Super Bowl of Safety’’ will be held in Columbus, Ohio, in mid-August.

Other Louisiana winners:

3-axle: Jon-Taylor Moreau, FedEx Freight

4-axle: Brian Landry, FedEx Freight

5-axle: Donald Glover, Walmart

Flatbed: Mark Collins, Walmart

Sleeper Berth: Eric Courville, FedEx Freight

Step Van: Michael Brian, FedEx Freight

Straight Truck: Gary Tyler, John N John Truck Line

Tank Truck: Collie Shaw, FedEx Freight

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