Elite Truckers to Test Skills at Fundraiser Sept. 23
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A month after the National Truck Driving Championships, elite commercial drivers will have a forum to display their talents.
On Sept. 23, the Mid-Atlantic Professional Truck Drivers Association is scheduled to host its 22nd annual charity “FunDrive.” The regional fundraiser, which will be held rain or shine, offers truckers a venue to sharpen their precision-driving skills.
The tournament will be held at Blue Ridge Community College at the Augusta County Government Center in Verona, Va.
More than 100 commercial drivers primarily from the East Coast intend to tackle an intricate course as well as an optional vehicle pre-trip inspection. Event organizers aim to simulate aspects of the national trucking tournament, which accommodates drivers across multiple vehicle classes. The fundraiser will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Over the years, organizers have raised more than $300,000 for the nonprofit group that focuses on sick children.
Brian Walker of North Carolina won the 3-axle class at the 2019 National Truck Driving Championships in Pittsburgh. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)
“It’s just like the national event, or the state event. You strive to be safe all year long,” Harold Snyder, president of the Mid-Atlantic Professional Truck Drivers Association, told Transport Topics this month. “For us, this particular event is special because we raise money for Make-A-Wish kids.”
Snyder, a consistent National Truck Driving Championships qualifier from North Carolina, took home the vehicle condition award at nationals in 2004. The award recognizes excellence in pre-trip vehicle inspections.
Brian Walker, another event organizer, emphasized the focus on safety. He noted that most drivers who attend come from the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Top NTDC winners have competed at the fundraiser in previous years.
“We support a lot of benefits, you know. The Make-A-Wish Foundation, we’ve been a part of that for 22 years now and raised quite a bit of money. And we always have it in the fall of the year,” Walker told TT.
Gragg Wilson of UPS won grand champion honors at the National Truck Driving Championships. Wilson takes us through the competition's course, successful driving practices and how to attract new drivers. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
The organizers explained that the Mid-Atlantic Professional Truck Drivers Association’s mission is to promote the professionalism and contributions of commercial truck drivers. Members dedicate time and resources to educate the public about highway safety and advancing camaraderie within the trucking industry.
“It puts a good image for what we try to do for the motoring public,” Walker continued. He was national champion in the 3-axle vehicle class in 2019. “It’s a good example of what we do. We love the Roadeo [trucking tournament], and we use that knowledge and skill to raise money for the charity of choice.”
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