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Competitors brave rain at Manitoba Driving Championships

WINNIPEG, Man. -- Competitors braved wet conditions to showcase their skills and professionalism at the Manitoba Pr...

WINNIPEG, Man. — Competitors braved wet conditions to showcase their skills and professionalism at the Manitoba Professional Truck Driving Championships held at Peterbilt Manitoba June 27.


In total, 39 competitors and more than 50 volunteers took part in the day-long event, which included a number of challenging obstacles, including the track, defects, and written test. The evening wrapped up with the 2009 Driver Awards Banquet. Winners from the 2009 Manitoba Professional Truck Driving Championship include:


Step Van: Garth Deschamps (Canadian Freightways)

Straight Truck: Gene Wertepny (TST Overland Express)


Single/Single: Brian Hrabarchuk (Con-Way Freight Canada)

Single/Tandem: Frank Klassen (Penner International)


Tandem/Tandem: Ed Eagle (Canada Safeway)


Super B Train: Ken Wiebe (EBD Enterprises)


The J.O. Dutton Memorial Award was also presented to Ken Wiebe of EBD Enterprises for his excellent showing at the 2008 National Professional Truck Driving Championship. The First-Time Entrant award winner was Matthias Maassen of Penner International, and the top team honours went to Team TST Overland Express (Howard Thomson, Gene Wertepny, Ron Poirier, and Denis Roberts). The winner of this year’s Bjornson Memorial was Brian Hrabarchuk of Con-way Freight Canada, and the night’s Grand Champion was Ed Eagle of Canada Safeway.


Also presented was the 2009 Driver of the Year Award, sponsored by Volvo Canada. This year’s winner, Dennis Barkman of Penner International, has more than 27 years of driving experience.


“His commitment to safety is shown in his clear driving record, as well as other awards he has received for his millions of accident-free kilometres,” officials said in a release. According to Jac Doerksen, driver relations and O/O business development manager for Penner International, Barkman is, “The type of driver every fleet would like to have on board. He is very productive and on-time, every time.”


“The organizers of the 2009 Manitoba Professional Truck Driving Championship would like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers, and drivers who came out to this year’s event to make it a success,” said event organizers in a release. “A special thank you goes out to the event’s major sponsors: Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation, Manitoba Public Insurance, Peterbilt Manitoba Ltd, and Beaver Truck Centre. The strong support for this event, not only this year but also in previous years, from so many members of the community is a clear indicator that people see the value in events such as this.”


As Earl Coleman, president of the Manitoba Trucking Association, stated in his address at the Driver Awards Banquet, “As an industry, we are going to continue to face challenges, but, as an industry, we will work not only to meet those challenges, but to overcome them.”

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