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Festus Resident is State Truck Driving Champion

2008-08-13 08:04:00

    Eight Drivers Continue on to National Competition

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Aug. 13 /EMWNews/ -- Lawrence

O'Neal, of Festus, was named the best professional truck driver in Missouri

after winning the twins competition and receiving the highest overall score

in the eight competing categories at the 2008 Missouri Truck Driving

Championships. The annual event is sponsored by the Missouri Motor Carriers


    O'Neal, who drives for FedEx National LTL, now qualifies to compete in

the American Trucking Associations' National Truck Driving Championships

August 19-23, 2008 in Houston, Texas -- also known as the "Super Bowl of

Safety." The winners from each of the seven other categories are also

eligible to compete in the national championship.

    Nearly 400 drivers from all 50 states will compete in Houston for four

days, challenging their driving skills, and knowledge of safety, equipment

and the industry. From 18-wheeler five axle sleepers to tank trucks to twin

trailers--they will drive a course that recreates situations truck drivers

face daily. These maneuvers will include: an alley dock, a rear line stop,

a side park, a scale stop, a right turn, a front line stop, and straight

line driving through a diminishing clearance.

    On Saturday night, August 23, one contestant will drive away as the

2008 National Grand Champion Truck Driver.

    "The Truck Driving Championships represent the culmination of the

industry's dedication to safety," said Missouri Motor Carriers Association

President & CEO Tom Crawford. "I congratulate all the contestants and I

hope Missouri roots for our drivers as they move on to Nationals in


    Missouri winners for each category included:

    Jeramy Riggs, Yellow Transportation, Warrensburg, Mo. (Straight Truck)

    John Barney, FedEx, O'Fallon, Mo. (Three-Axle)

    Michael Gandee, Prime, Inc., Lardington, Ohio (Four-Axle)

    Paul Baumhoer, Wal-Mart Transportation, Koeltztown, Mo. (Five-Axle)

    Rick Hopwood, Wal-Mart Transportation, Donnellson, Ill. (Five-Axle


    Duane Grimme, Prime, Inc., Satsuma, Fla. (Tankers)

    Mitchell Stegner, Roadway, Pilot Grove, Mo. (Flatbed)

    Lawrence O'Neal, FedEx National LTL, Festus, Mo. (Twins)

    ATA's Truck Driving Championships include top professional truck

drivers from around the nation competing at state and regional levels to

make it to the national competition Aug. 19-23 in Houston, Texas. The NTDC

annually attracts over 2,000 cheering friends, family, colleagues and

spectators. For more information, visit the 2008 National Truck Driving

Championships website:

    The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade

association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other

trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state

trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering

every type of motor carrier in the United States.

    The American Trucking Associations leads the effort for safer highways,

focusing on greater education, enforcement and enhancement of traffic

safety laws for all drivers. ATA also supports slowing down traffic through

a reinstatement of a national maximum speed limit of 65 mph for all

vehicles and limiting truck speeds at the time of manufacture.

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