Schroeder Embraces Safety in Trucking Championships
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The words “Super Bowl of Safety” have an appealing ring. The phrase conjures up a haven of meticulous attention to detail in a forum consisting of motivated workers.
Within the trucking industry landscape, this Super Bowl entails precision driving challenges meant for commercial drivers. It is designed to attract talented truckers dedicated to improving people’s quality of life.
David Schroeder, a longtime FedEx Freight driver, said he recognizes the value of the Super Bowl of Safety, otherwise known as American Trucking Associations' National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships.
“I believe the championships — the truck driving championships — are the greatest safety initiative ever, or at least one of the greatest safety initiatives ever invented for the driver,” Schroeder said recently. “It puts you in a whole ’nother level of trying to focus on safety. And I love it.
Getting to Know You
Name: David Schroeder
Company: FedEx Freight
Vehicle: Twin trailer
Favorite Food: Meatloaf and crabcakes
Sports Hero: NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin
Favorite Song: “Eastbound and Down” by The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys
All-time Favorite Vacation: Ocean City, Md.
Something People Don’t Know About You: I used to be a Labrador Retriever breeder as a hobby.
When Do You Find Time to Practice: “Every day that I get behind the wheel is a practice day.”
Favorite Quote: “Safety is no accident. Safety is practice and purpose put into action.”
"I love being a part of it. I love promoting it with the younger drivers; just try to get them focused on the same safety-minded aspect of being able to stay safe so that you can compete at the state level and hopefully eventually at the national level.”
Schroeder is this year’s grand champion of the Ohio Truck Driving Championships. His victory in May in the twin trailers division qualified him for the national tournament next month in Columbus, Ohio. The trip will mark the second time Schroeder, a member of American Trucking Associations’ America’s Road Team, competes in the annual summer classic.
Its appeal lies mostly in the constant preparation: “Practice and studying and, of course, obviously, focusing on safety and staying safe to be able to remain eligible to be able to compete,” as he put it.
As he readies for the national contest, Schroeder is looking forward to showcasing his talents before a hometown crowd. The Buckeye State has long produced a cadre of talented truck drivers. In 2018 and 2019, Ohio’s Scott Woodrome with FedEx Freight, took home the national tournament’s grand champion trophy. Woodrome did not compete this year.
“It’s right here in my backyard. And so that gives me just that much more incentive to try to do well in my home state,” Schroeder explained. “So either way I fare, I’m going to give it every effort, you know, every ounce of effort that I have in me to be able to perform well. But it’s an honor that is right here in my backyard — in my home state.”
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
Right now, Schroeder insists he has one task. Simply to “concentrate on staying safe for next year to be able to compete and to concentrate on the nationals, which is yet to come,” he said.
Other Ohio winners:
3-Axle: James Emerine, FedEx Freight
4-Axle: Roger Emerson, ABF Freight
5-Axle: Ed Custer, Yellow
Flatbed: Randolph Broderick, FedEx Freight
Sleeper Berth: Merle Ashbaugh, DHL Supply Chain
Step Van: Glen George, UPS
Straight Truck: Scott Newcome, FedEx Ground
Tank Truck: Jason Imhoff, Walmart
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