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Manitoba drivers honoured during provincial driving championship

WINNIPEG, Man. -- The Manitoba Trucking Association honoured some of the industrys best during the Drivers Awards ...

WINNIPEG, Man. — The Manitoba Trucking Association honoured some of the industrys best during the Drivers Awards Dinner.

The event was held on June 9 in Winnipeg, following the Manitoba Professional Truck Driving Championships, which were held at Kapyong Barracks earlier in the day.

The annual Drivers Awards Dinner honours the achievements of Manitobas professional truck drivers. The provinces most prestigious trucker awards presented during the event are the Manitoba Driver of the Year, J. O. Dutton Memorial Award and the Manitoba Professional Truck Driving Championship trophies.

The Manitoba Driver of the Year award was presented to Craig Cudmore of Winnipeg. Among the many traits that determined Cudmores selection for this award were his 32 years of accident-free driving, his constant attention to safety, his outstanding customer service and his contribution to the industry through driver training.

Brian Hrabarchuk of Winnipeg received the J.O. Dutton Memorial Cup for outstanding performance at the National Professional Truck Driving Championships in September 2006.

The Manitoba Professional Truck Driving Championships is a challenging day-long competition that allows professional truckers to showcase their skills by negotiating a track of obstacles simulating everyday driving conditions, performing a thorough pre-trip vehicle inspection and completing a written test of general professional trucker knowledge.

The Grand Champion for 2007 is John Klassen of Niverville, Man. Klassen achieved the highest differential score over truck class scores in the Manitoba Championships. Klassen also took first place in the Straight Truck (two-axle) class.

The day-long competition had 40 entrants from across Manitoba, competing in six events. The winners of those events are:

Step Van Class
1.Garth Deschamps, Canadian Freightways
2. Howard Thompson, TST Porter
3.Edward Eagle,Canada Safeway

Straight Truck (two-axle) Class
1.John Klassen, Reimer Express Lines
2.Chad Kitkowski, Canadian Freightways
3.Frank Fleisher, Bison Transport

Single/Single (three-axle, tractor and trailer) Class
1.Gary Good, Reimer Express Lines
2.Brian Hrabarchuk, Con-Way Freight – Canada
3.Ronald Poirier, TST Porter

Single/Tandem (four-axle, tractor and trailer) Class
1.Frank Klassen, Penner International
2.Dennis Kehler, Bison Transport
3.Michael Werner, Reimer Express Lines

Tandem/Tandem (five-axle, tractor and trailer) Class
1.Don Binne, Canada Safeway
2.Denis Roberts, TST Porter
3.Cory Boath, Bison Transport

Super B-Train (eight-axle, tractor and two trailers) Class
1.Jim Kroeker, Big Freight Systems
2.Rod Birdsbill, Big Freight Systems
3.Ken Wiebe, Ram Messenger

Team Reimer Express Lines won the Team Performance award. Team members are: Clayton Malbranck, Michael Werner, John Klassen and Gary Good.

Cory Boath of Bison Transport won First Time Entrant award for highest score among the 13 first time entrants.

Gary Good of Reimer Express Lines won the Hal Bjornson Memorial Award for highest score overall in the Championships.

Judges for the championships included a number of the industrys partners in driver safety: the Winnipeg Police Service, the RCMP, Manitoba Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, Transport Canada, the Winnipeg Fire and Paramedics Service, and members of the trucking industry.

The winners in each of the six truck classes become Team Manitoba and compete in the Canadian National Championships. This year the nationals are being held in Regina, Sept. 13 to 15.

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