Okay, so I’ve been busy since last time I wrote. Let’s start with the Truck Driving Championships. On June 14 I attended the Toronto Regional Truck Driving Championships at Woodbine Mall north of Toronto. I’m a little ashamed to say it was my first time taking in one of these events. What can I tell you? The skill on display throughout the entire day was incredible. There were no bad drivers here.
We have covered both the Toronto Regionals and Central Ontario Regionals in great detail on our site, so I’ll link to the stories below. But first, my recap on the event itself. The one I attended was well organized and efficiently executed, which is quite an achievement in itself when you consider it’s put on entirely by volunteers.
A driver in the tandem-tandem category attempts one of the trickier challenges, placing the wheels between a set of closely placed tennis balls.
Drivers must compete across three events. They must complete a written knowledge test featuring 200 questions. They must conduct a pre-trip inspection and locate hidden defects, but they have just eight minutes in which to do so. And then there’s the highlight – the obstacle course, featuring challenges such as the loading dock, offset alley, serpentine, and right angle turn. These maneuvers may sound easy enough, but the course is incredibly tight with little room for error.
Drivers are scored on all three events with the top performers advancing to the Provincials in Barrie July 12. All across the country, similar events have been held in recent weeks, with each province sending its winners to the Nationals in Quebec later this year.
Each of the competitions has its own unique intricacies. In Toronto, for example, entrants can compete within a vehicle category (straight truck; single-single; single-tandem; tandem-tandem; or B-Train) or, if their company enters seven or more drivers, they can compete against their colleagues for one of three guaranteed spots in the Provincials, regardless of vehicle category. In that case, they still qualify for Grand Champion, Rookie of the Year, etc., but not for first, second and third place within any vehicle category.
As a result, some of the top scorers didn’t necessarily win their category, but they’ll still advance to the Provincials and represent their company. This was this case for the competitors from Canada Cartage, Fortigo Freight and Speedy Transport.
The Grand Champion this year was Speedy’s Greg Flear, who had an exceptional run, scoring 352 points. His colleague, defending champ, Rennie Barran, finished just behind him with 350. You can find the complete results below, as well as a full report on the day’s activities. I want to thank the organizers and participants, who were so accommodating in answering my many questions and allowing us to shoot some excellent video of the event. Here’s a summary of our coverage in a nice, tidy little package. Check back later for more videos and of course, we’ll cover the heck out of the Provincials July 12 as well:
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies