PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s called the “Super Bowl of Safety” or the “Driving Olympics.”
Hundreds of the best truckers in the country are in town for the National Truck Driving Championships.
A total of 426 professional truck drivers from all 50 states are in Pittsburgh this week for the competition at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
“It’s very tough. It’s really based on safety. These are the best of the best drivers,” Alphonso Lewis of the American Trucking Assocations said.
To compete, drivers had to be accident free for an entire year.
At the contest, they are tested on their skills behind the wheel. They have to navigate through an obstacle course and carefully maneuver around different objects.
Don Logan with FedEx has been a truck driver for 28 years. This is his eighth time competing in the national championships.
“If you don’t have any nerves in doing this, then I’m not sure you should be doing it because that’s part of it. It’s part of the fun of it is getting a few butterflies,” Logan said.
Judges on the course score the drivers as they go by holding up scorecards.
There are nine different classes, based on the size of the vehicles.
In the end, it’s all about safety.
“It’s for the general public. I myself, I want to get home safely as a professional driver. The people who share the road with me, I want them to do the same thing,” Lewis said.
“You could label them the safest drivers in the country. They are proud of what they do, they are proud of their safety records, and they are good, safe drivers or they wouldn’t be here,” Logan said.
Men and women from 84 different companies are participating in this year’s contest.
Hundreds of spectators will be in the stands cheering on their favorites.
The awards will be handed out on Saturday.
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