Home Hardware driver Rob Marshall from Waterloo, Ontario, beat all competitors at this year’s National Professional Truck Driving Championships to win both Grand Champion and Rookie of the Year titles for 2013. Manitoba won the Team Trophy, and BC drivers John Broker (Port Coquitlam) and Jose Lecinana (Sooke) placed first and third in the Tandem-Tandem and Single-Single divisions, respectively, once all points were tallied on Saturday, September 21, the final day of the competition at the Tradex Centre in Abbotsford.
Rob Marshall, who competes in the Straight Truck division, came away with an overall score of 430 points (out of a possible 500), 69 over the 361 average score for all competitors. Although Rob has won first place in his division at past provincial competitions – and is also this year’s Grand Champion in Ontario – this was his first National Championship (the “rookie” designation refers to participation in championship events, not to experience as a professional driver).
The Championships consist of:
a written test, which challenges the drivers’ general knowledge of the industry and equipment;
a pre-trip inspection, which approximates the drivers’ regular vehicle inspection; and
the driving competition, which simulates the everyday skills of maneuvering, cornering and judging distance.
The written test and pre-trip inspections took place on Friday and the driving competition followed on Saturday. To compete, drivers must have no preventable accidents in the twelve months prior to the championships. A “preventable accident” could include even a minor occurrence such as a broken tail light on a trailer.
Competitors, organizers, volunteers and spectators were delighted – and relieved – that Abbotsford came through with sun on this last day of summer, in spite of rain and thunderstorm warnings.
A banquet at the Ramada Plaza Abbotsford Hotel & Convention Centre followed the competition, with Shaun Garvey, Organizing Committee Chair, ICBC, and Gary Ryder, Chief Judge, Chevron Canada Ltd., presenting the awards to winners in each class. Tammy Clifford, Zurich Canada, handed out trophies.
2013 National Professional Truck Driving Championships Winners:
Grand Champion & Rookie of the Year: Rob Marshall, ON (Home Hardware)
Safety Award: Jason Novak, MB (Canadian Freightways)
Team Trophy: Manitoba – Brian Hrabarchuk (Con-way Freight), Ken Wiebe (EDB Enterprises), Ronald Poirier (TST Overland Express), Jason Novak (Canadian Freightways) & Howard McAfee (H & T Trucking)
1st Place: Rob Marshall, ON (Home Hardware)
2nd Place: Larry Radons, SK (YRC Reimer)
3rd Place: Keith Franklin, AB (Canadian Freightways)
1st Place: Clary Ward, ON (Con-Way Freight)
2nd Place: Michel Carriere, QC (Groupe Jean Coutu)
3rd Place: Jose Lecinana, BC (Canadian Freightways)
1st Place: Ronald Poirier, MB (TST Overland Express)
2nd Place: Bert Weykamp, ON (Con-Way Freight)
3rd Place: Claude Tessier, QC (Transport Robert)
1st Place: John Broker, BC (Martin Brower)
2nd Place: Rod Harrison, AB (Canadian Freightways)
3rd Place: Howard McAfee, MB (H & T Trucking)
1st Place: Ken Wiebe, MB (EBD Enterprises)
2nd Place: Gord Procyk, SK (Jay\'s Transport)
3rd Place: Steve Calhoun, AB (Canadian Freightways)