Werner Enterprises has a rich history of success at truck driving competitions at both state and national levels. Thousands of drivers choose to spend their free time participating in these contests to test their own skills, build comradery among like-minded drivers and of course take home some hardware. Competitions consist of a written examination, interview, pre-trip inspection test and skills test.
Werner’s team placed second this summer at the Nebraska state level with several top three finishes, a Grand Champion and the Rookie of the Year Award! Two Werner professional drivers, Eric and Philip, advanced to The National Truck Driving Championships in Indianapolis August 16-19 hosted by the American Trucking Associations.
We sat down with Eric and Philip before they headed off to Indianapolis along with nine-time national qualifier, Tim, to learn more about their week ahead.
Thoughts from Tim
Tim D. has driven 4.8 million accident-free miles for Werner and has been competing in truck driving challenges since 1998. He’s had much success as a competitor, including tying for first place at nationals in 2009. He still takes pride in his remarkable success in competitions today, but also in serving as a mentor for drivers just starting out.
“Having multiple past winners from Werner sharing knowledge with newcomers is key to continued success. The results we have at the state level show the pride of the professional drivers and their willingness to represent Werner while putting their skills to the test.”
Since drivers must be accident-free for at least one year to compete, he says the drive to compete is driven by having safety as a number one priority on the road.
More about Eric
Eric S. has driven for Werner for 10 years and looks forward to his second trip to nationals after winning Grand Champion at the state level this year.
He says he prepares for competitions by studying the “Facts for Drivers” book as much as he can, staying accident-free, and simply excelling at his job as a truck driver every day.
“When I heard about these competitions when I started my career as a driver, I knew it was something I wanted to do to test my skills. I’m glad I did it and it’s all about ultimately staying safe on the road.”
More about Philip
Philip D. has been with Werner for 23 years and began competing in truck driving competitions in 2009. He says he’s looking forward to seeing how well he competes against other top drivers in the country, but also values the comradery and friendships gained from competition.
“These guys and gals that I compete with are part of my second family. We are competing against one another, but also each other’s biggest fans.”
As for new professional drivers wanting to get involved, his suggestion is to just focus on one mile at a time.
“We want to promote professional and safe drivers and these competitions are a great way that the industry showcases its value on safety.”
We wish these two the best of luck at nationals this week! Follow Werner’s Facebook page for results and visit the American Trucking Associations website for more information about the National Truck Driving Championships.