August 16, 2014 8:30 AM, EDT

NAIC Crowns Inspector Champions

PITTSBURGH — Truck inspectors from Arizona and Canada captured the top awards at the 22nd annual North American Inspectors Championship here this week.

The Grand Champion Award went to J.W. Watlington of the Arizona Department of Public Safety for his combined performances in six competitions.

The John Youngblood Award went to Roderick Dykeman of the Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department.

The award is given by the inspectors to one among them “who exemplifies the high standards and unwavering dedication to the profession,” said the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which sponsors the championships each year.

Forty nine roadside inspectors, those who enforce the federal regulations that govern truckers, participated in the championship event, which culminated with an awards banquet Friday night.

The inspectors competition is held simultaneously each year with the annual National Truck Driving Championships, which names its winners at a banquet on Saturday night.

“Each inspector leaves this competition as a winner,” said CVSA president Sgt. Thomas Fuller of the New York State Police.

“NAIC helps guide, educate and develop our industry’s future leaders,” Fuller said in a statement. “And the information, techniques and experiences participants will share with others when they return to their home jurisdictions will help improve consistency and reciprocity in highway safety enforcement.”

In addition to competing in the six inspection divisions, the 49 contestants participated in three days of training sessions conducted by CVSA.

“NAIC contestants not only test and sharpen their skills as participants in the competition, they also learn the latest CMV safety trends, technologies, standards and inspection procedures,” said CVSA Executive Director Stephen A. Keppler.

“As a result, this competition helps strengthen the industry as a whole, promotes partnerships and cooperation among inspectors, jurisdictions and countries, and improves uniformity and consistency in enforcement throughout North America,” Keppler said in a statement.

Each of the inspectors competed in six areas: standard level I inspection, standard level I inspection procedures, hazmat/transportation of dangerous goods, cargo tank/other bulk packaging, level five passenger vehicle (motorcoach), and out-of-service criteria exam.

Other award categories and winners included:

High Points: United States — J.W. Watlington, Arizona Department of Public Safety.

High Points: Canada — Rick Smith, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General.

Standard Level I Inspection:

First Place — Bryce Ivie, Utah Highway Patrol

Second place — Erick McGuire, Florida Highway Patrol.

Third Place — Josh Anderson, North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Hazardous Materials/Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Cargo Tank/Bulk Packagings Inspection:

First Place — Michael Byrne, Ohio State Highway Patrol

Second Place — Benjamin Schropfer, Nebraska State Patrol

Third Place — J.W. Watlington, Arizona Department of Public Safety

Level Five Passenger Vehicle (Motorcoach) Inspection:

First Place — Miguel Galindo, U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Second Place — Tim Gushing, Arkansas Highway Police

Third Place — Rick Smith, Alberta Department of Transportation

Team Award: Green Team

J.W. Watlington, Arizona Department of Public Safety

Erick McGuire, Florida Highway Patrol

Nicholas Wright, Kansas Highway Patrol

Stevie Browing, Massachusetts State Police

John Hibschman, New Jersey State Police

Bud Kneller, Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Tommy Torok, South Dakota Highway Patrol

Cory Shilts, Wisconsin State Patrol

Team leader: James Murray, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission