It has been a long road for participants in the Texas Truck Driving Championships, but this weekend they will finally head to the state tournament to show off their skills. The competition will be held May 31-June 1 by the Texas Trucking Association at Texas State Technical College in Waco.
Who: Winners from nine categories at the state level have advanced to the national competition, where a Grand Champion will be crowned
What: Contestants are judged on a written examination and their driving skills
When: Aug. 14-17
Everything is bigger in Texas, and the state competition is no exception. Due to the number of drivers and companies in the Lone Star State, Texas holds four regional competitions before the state championships to whittle down the field to the best of the best.
The regional qualifiers were held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, San Antonio, Houston and Tyler, each with anywhere from 60 to 120 drivers participating. The top two drivers in each division advance to the state competition; there will be 72 drivers this year.
According to Lance Shillingburg, TXTA senior vice president of safety and education, the competition plays an important role in promoting the reputation of the trucking industry. He said that many of the judges come from law enforcement agencies, particularly for the pre-trip section of the competition. Participating in the event allows relationships and increased respect to develop among the drivers and the troops.
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The winner’s podium is wide open this year, as last year’s Grand Champion, Michael Cirrincione, did not compete in a state qualifier. And with the best of the best already designated to compete, Texas will be a state to watch this weekend.