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Manitoba’s top trucking professionals honoured for outstanding driver achievement

WINNIPEG, Man. -- Bud Rush has driven motor transport for 40 years without an accident and is known for his constan...

WINNIPEG, Man. — Bud Rush has driven motor transport for 40 years without an accident and is known for his constant attention to safety. The Oakland, Man. resident also has a stellar record for outstanding customer service, and has contributed greatly to both the industry, and to his community, according to the Manitoba Trucking Association, which selected Rush for the Manitoba 2008 “driver-of-the-year” J.O. Dutton Memorial Award.

The MTA paid tribute to its top trucking professionals at an awards presentation held on June 28. The annual event honours the achievements of Manitoba’s professional truck drivers, for professionalism, driving safety and driving skill.

The awards presentation was held in conjunction with the Manitoba Professional Truck Driving (MPTD) championships, which was held at Red River Exhibition Park, earlier in the day. Garth Deschamps of Landmark was awarded the J.O Dutton memorial cup for outstanding performance at last year’s NPTD championships, held in September.

The MPTD championship is a challenging day-long competition that allows professional truck drivers to showcase their skills. This year, 41 of Manitoba’s professional drivers competed with their peers in six truck classes. The competition requires drivers to negotiate 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 MPTD grand champion for 2008 is Ken Wiebe of Petersfield, who achieved the highest differential score. He competed in the super B-train (eight axle) class. This is Wiebe’s second grand champion award, having also achieved this distinction in 2006.

The awards for the six truck classes were presented to the following competitors:

The winner for step van class: 1) Garth Deschamps, Canadian Freightways; 2) Don Natch, T.E.A.M.S. Transport; and 3) Robert Reynoldsm, Bison Transport.

The winner for straight truck (2-axle) class: 1) Chad Kitkowski, Canadian Freightways; 2) Michael Beaulieu, Canadian Freightways; 3) and Frank Fleisher, Bison Transport.

The winner for single/single (three-axle tractor and trailer) class: 1) Brian Hrabarchuk, Con-Way Freight Canada; 2) Ronald Poirier, TST Overland Express; and 3) Michael Noga, TST Overland Express.

The winner for single/tandem (four-axle tractor and trailer) class: 1) Frank Klassen, Penner International; 2) John Klassen, Reimer Express Lines; and 3) Douglas Thomas, Canadian Freightways.

The award for the tandem/tandem (five-axle tractor and trailer) class: 1) Shawn Henckel, All-Fab Building Components; 2) Denis Roberts, TST Porter; and 3) Brian Chandler Reimer Express Lines.

The award for the super B-train (eight-axle tractor and two trailers) class: 1) Ken Wiebe, E.B.D. Enterprises; 2) Jim Kroeker, Big Freight Systems; and 3) Jim Tulipan, Bison Transport.

Team Canadian Freightways won the “best team performance” award, with team members Barry Piasta, Douglas Thomas, Chad Kitkowski and Garth Deschamps.

Max Pieper of Bison Transport won the “first time entrant” award for highest score above class average among the 10 first-time-entrants. Ken Wiebe of E.B.D. Enterprises won the Hal Bjornson Memorial award for highest score overall in the championships.

Judges for the championships are representatives of the Manitoba partners in driver safety, including: Winnipeg Police Service and Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Manitoba Department of Infrastructure and Transportation, Transport Canada and members of the Manitoba trucking industry.

The winners in each of the six truck classes become Team Manitoba and complete in the Canadian National Championships. This year the Nationals are being held in Ottawa, from Sept. 11-13.

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