SANDUSKY, Ohio — It sure seems that Scott Woodrome of FedEx Freight has figured out the key to winning. It starts with his faith in God, adds a full dose of love and support from his wife, Lorraine, and the FedEx team, and tops it off with a diligent work ethic that gets him competition-ready.
The awards and accolades continue. Woodrome earned his fourth Grand Champion title and 14th consecutive trip to nationals at the Ohio Truck Driving Championships on May 18.
When asked how he was feeling after the big win, he replied, “I am overwhelmed,” followed by a big smile and long pause. “I give everything to God, he has helped me thrive.”
Woodrome was young when he got started in the industry. The son of two educators, it was a tough sell when he told them his plans to be a driver. “I had a knot in my throat, the one where it is hard to speak,” he said. That did not last, as Woodrome said they became some of his biggest supporters. He wanted a career that would allow him to support his family, it has done that and more.
Anyone who has met him can attest to his professionalism. Decked out in FedEx apparel from head to toe for his pre-trip inspection test, Woodrome showed he meant business. The level of professionalism he exhibits goes back to when he got his start as a driver.
Woodrome performing his pre-trip inspection on a Twin trailer setup. This is his first year competing in the Twins division. (Marissa Gamache/Transport Topics)
Falcon Transport was his first job. The company had two types of gigs for drivers, one in which the drivers were out chaining down and strapping loads and another that involved less manual load work. Woodrome was commonly mistaken for being a part of the latter, due to his crisp appearance.
Presenting a positive image of the industry started then.
“You can still wash your hands; there is no law against that,” Woodrome said.
He was named an America’s Road Team captain in 2015 and also is a FedEx Road Team captain. “I didn’t love the industry, but thought, ‘What can I do to make it different?’ ”
With the help and support of family, friends and faith, he has been able to travel the country promoting the industry’s image and sharing the importance of truck safety. “You don’t get there by accident,” he said. “I have had so much support.”
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Many hours are put in preparing for competition, studying the “Facts for Drivers” book, finding friends and coworkers to set up pre-trip inspections and taking a couple of spins around a mock course.
“Is sticking your head in a tire a lot of fun? No, but you have to practice,” Woodrome said.
Woodrome believes there is nothing that can’t be accomplished with practice and dedication. “In my eyes, you were always a natural champion, but now you have the tools,” he said.
During his normal city route, he drives a 4-Axle tractor-trailer. This year, he competed in the Twins division, a first for him and much different than the Tank division he won last year. “The enormity of equipment means a lot of touching and checking,” he said.
Woodrome with trophies (left to right) for Grand Champion, Chairman's Awards and first place Twins division. (Marissa Gamache/Transport Topics)
Twins pre-check went well — he received the chairman’s award for the highest pre-trip and written test score combined. It is an award that has evaded him during his 14 consecutive years of winning a title in Ohio and qualifying for the National Truck Driving Championships.
Woodrome’s wife is his biggest supporter. As he lined up for award photos, Lorraine looked on, snapping photos on her cellphone.
“Having her here makes the win so much more complete,” he said.
Woodrome attributes his success to the multitude of people who have believed in him and supported his journey.
“I can’t thank FedEx enough, and my family and friends; it’s not just me on my own sailboat,” he said.
With this win under his belt, Woodrome advances to nationals in Pittsburgh on Aug. 14-17. He will be going for his fourth national crown, having clinched division titles in 2015 and 2017 and a national Grand Champion title while winning Tank Truck last year.
Eight other drivers will join Woodrome at NTDC, some heading back a second or third time, while others will be attending for the first.
- 3-Axle: Richard Thatcher, YRC Freight
- 4-Axle: Bryan Auckerman, FedEx Freight
- 5-Axle: Junior Allen, Martin-Brower
- Flatbed: Bryan Elges, FedEx Freight
- Sleeper Berth: Eugene Pierce, Old Dominion Freight Line
- Tank Truck: Jeffrey Goblirsch, FedEx Freight
- Twins: Scott Woodrome, FedEx Freight
- Straight Truck: Jason Imhoff, Walmart Transportation
- Step Van: Aaron Snyder, FedEx Ground