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Ontario crowns its best truck drivers

LONDON, Ont. - The skill among participants of the 2002 Ontario Truck Driving Championships was obvious with approximately 100 drivers competing for top honors in six different categories.The competit...


LONDON, Ont. – The skill among participants of the 2002 Ontario Truck Driving Championships was obvious with approximately 100 drivers competing for top honors in six different categories.

The competition took place at the Flying J truck stop in London where contestants could not have asked for a better day.

“The day was perfect, the weather was absolutely beautiful,” says Penny Costanzo, public relations spokesperson with the Ontario Truck Driving Championships. “It was a day from heaven, you couldn’t ask for a better weekend.”

The purpose of the competition is to test the skills of the professional drivers as they compete for bragging rights with their peers. In order to take part, a driver must not have had a single preventable accident during the previous year.

Contestants completed a written test and a thorough pre-trip inspection of a truck they haven’t seen before. Judges also pay special attention to the competitor’s appearance, as well as their attitude.

The driving test consists of maneuvering the truck through several different obstacles, such as driving into an enclosure, parking, and backing.

This year a large number of drivers were recognized in each of their classes. For step van, the first place winner was Bruce Plumley of Challenger Motor Freight. The straight truck competition saw Jeff MacLean of SLH Transport walk away a winner while Larry Ruoho of Challenger Motor Freight took the title for the single-single class. The single-tandem division was captured by Peter Walton of J.D. Smith and Sons, while Jack Stanton, of SLH Transport, placed first in the tandem-tandem class. Wayne Burnett of Maple Leaf Foods won first place in the trains division.

Also, Stanton of SLH Transport was crowned grand champion and won the award for highest points. Rookie of the Year honors were bestowed on Terry Goudie of Loblaws and the Ministry of Transportation Award was presented to Ed Connors of Molson.

This year’s winners will go on to represent Ontario at the National Driving Championships in Saskatoon, Sask., from Sept. 5-8.


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