4 Shreveport Drivers Win Big at the LA Truck Driving Championship
If you didn't know, there is a competition for everything. Seriously, there is a crying baby world championship in Japan, a worm-charming competition in England, and the list goes on and on. Why, when you compare the Annual Louisiana Truck Driving Championships to something like the Annual Wife-Carrying Championship in Finland - it seems normal!
In fact, this is exactly the kind of competition we need in America right now. The number of big-rig drivers is at an all-time low, while need for truckers is at an all-time high! Anything that can bring attention to the skill and dedication it takes to be a long-haul driver is a good thing - especially if it encourages more people to take up piloting an 18-wheeled-cargo-carrier.
Every year, the Louisiana Motor Transport Association (LMTA) hosts a series of competitions in an effort to crown the best semi-tractor-trailer operators in the state. This year, the contest was held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the L’Auberge Baton Rouge Hotel and Casino.
68 drivers from across the state were put to the test by completing three trials focused on testing their knowledge and skills. However, not everyone was testing on the same type of truck. The event allowed drivers to compete in these categories: Step-Van, Straight Truck, 3-Axle Van, 4-Axle Van, 5-Axle Van, 5-Axle Tank, 5-Axle Flatbed, 5-Axle Sleeper Cab and Twin-Trailers. According to the press release from the LMTA, each operator was tested in these 3 areas:
- WRITTEN EXAMINATION - an hour-long, four-part test that measures their knowledge of the trucking industry, safe driving rules, first aid, and firefighting.
- PRE-TRIP INSPECTION - tests the driver's ability to make a thorough pre-trip inspection by requiring him to find seventeen defects planted on a test vehicle within a limited time.
- FIELD TEST COURSE - contestants must drive a vehicle through a course with problems designed to simulate conditions they may encounter during the everyday operation of a truck.
The competition was held this past weekend, and several Shreveport drivers showed out! Corey Mitchell took top honors for the Straight Truck category, James Maxwell placed 1st in the 3-Axel Van competition, Warren Little placed 2nd for 5 Axle Flatbeds, and Richard Gibbs took 2nd place in the Twin Truck category. All of these gentlemen work for FedEx Freight in Shreveport.