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American Trucking Associations cancels National Truck Driving Championships

Safety-promoting Technology & Maintenance Council events still on track

ATA cancels National Truck Driving Championships for the second consecutive year. (Photo: Flickr/Road Kill Maneuver By Jenni Reynolds-Kebler)

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has canceled the 2021 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships for the second consecutive year, citing COVID-related issues. The event had been planned for Minneapolis in August.

“Our industry’s creed and the very spirit of these competitions is ‘safety first,’ and this outcome reflects that,” explained Chris Spear, president and CEO of the ATA in a letter to members explaining the cancellation.

“Know that we do not take this decision lightly. The Super Bowl of Safety had not been cancelled since World War II until last year, which is a testament to just how unprecedented this present challenge is,” said Spear.

This event, dating back to 1937, was originally called the National Truck Rodeo and gave drivers a chance to demonstrate their inspection skills, knowledge and professionalism in a number of events. The program’s goal is to create an incentive for professional truck drivers to operate safely as they must be accident-free for one year in order to compete.

The ATA is the largest trade organization in the industry, with a mission to “provide [members] with the answers, advice and tools they need to grow and support their trucking business.” Even with the cancellation of its driving competition, the ATA will continue to support the industry with its Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) events, which will still promote safety throughout 2021. 

TMC 21: Technology & Maintenance Council Spring Meeting

When: April 12-16 and 19-23

Where: Virtual

This event is a comprehensive collection of educational sessions to teach maintenance personnel about cutting-edge technology. Task forces meet throughout the conference to make recommendations on practices for fleet operations. 

Safety sessions and course topics include:

  • Cab Cleanliness: Increasing Safety Through Improved Air Quality and Surface Cleaning
  • Shop Talk: Collision and Corrosion Control: Spotlight on Recommended Practices
  • Shop Talk for Tires and Wheels: Spotlight on Recommended Practices
  • Current and Future Outlook for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems 

Registration for this event can be found here.

TMC 21: Technology & Maintenance Council Fall Meeting

When: Sept. 12-16

Where: Cleveland

The theme of the event is “Mastering the New Realities of Maintenance Management.” It will include a Transportation Technology Exhibition, along with educational classes for fleet managers and drivers. While sessions and courses are currently being developed, the executive director of TMC, Robert Braswell, explained in a release the event will focus on “bringing trucking’s leading minds together to discuss important trends in technology and maintenance in the industry.”

Registration for this event can be found here.

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Grace Sharkey

Grace Sharkey is a professional in the logistics and transportation industry with experience in journalism, digital content creation and decision-making roles in the third-party logistics space. Prior to joining FreightWaves, Grace led a startup brokerage to more than $80 million in revenue, holding roles of increasing responsibility, including director of sales, vice president of business development and chief strategy officer. She is currently a staff writer, podcast producer and SiriusXM radio host for FreightWaves, a leading provider of news, data and analytics for the logistics industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Michigan State University. You can contact her at [email protected]