Holland professional drivers Herschel Evans and James Looks earned first place at their respective state truck driving safety competitions qualifying them to compete at the 2018 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC), the “Superbowl of Safety,” in Columbus, Ohio. Sponsored by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the event will be held August 15-18, 2018 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Additional Holland drivers have yet to compete in three more state truck driving competitions.
Herschel Evans earned first place in the Sleeper class and Best Written Test Score at the 2018 Georgia state truck driving competition held May 10-12, 2018. This is the second consecutive year he has won first place in Sleeper class and his sixth trip to NTDC.
Herschel has been driving professionally for over 31 years–24 of those years for Holland. He first began competing in truck driving competitions in 2006. He is a two-time 5-Axle National driving champion (2011, 2008), a professional Holland safety trainer and mentor and the first Holland ATA America’s Road Team Captain. Named 2012 Georgia Driver of the Year, he earned first place in the 5-Axle class at the 2012, 2011, 2008 and 2006 Georgia TDCs. He was Georgia’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2006.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance presented Herschel with their 2018 International Driver Excellence Award. In 2017, the ATA awarded him with the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award. He has been the driving force behind the Safety Drive for a Cure for over six years. Herschel operates as a pickup and delivery driver out of our Atlanta, Georgia terminal.
James Looks earned first place in the Tanker class at the 2018 Michigan State Truck Driving Competition held June 8-9. No stranger to safety competitions, James also won first place in the Tanker class at the 2013 and 2014 Michigan TDCs.
James has been a professional driver for Holland since 1995 and currently operates as a linehaul driver out of our Grand Rapids, Michigan terminal. James first began participating in truck driving competitions in 2010.
The 2018 Michigan Truck Driving Competition saw sixteen Holland drivers rise to the challenge. Holland professional driver Brian Van Vels (Grand Rapids) won third place in the Flatbed class and was awarded the Rookie of the Year award. Holland professional driver Dennis Wech (Detroit) placed third in the 5-Axle class.
Russ Simpson, winner of the Best Written Test Score award and the Pre-Trip Chairman’s Award at the 2018 Ohio state truck driving competition says: “Safety is very important,” said Russ. “You’re in charge of a very heavy vehicle surrounded by a lot of traffic. That’s a huge responsibility and one that every driver needs to take very seriously. Competing in these events is my way of improving my skills and showing respect for the company by giving back the best way I can.”
“Greatness can only be reached by those who strive for continuous improvement,” said Scott Ware, Holland President. “Herschel and James are shining examples of this. I would like to congratulate and thank them, as well as all of our hard-working Holland professional drivers, for their strong commitment to safety. Their efforts and dedication make our nation’s highways safer for all of us.”
In total, 52 Holland professional drivers competed at 11 different state truck driving competitions this year including Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York and South Carolina. Drivers must remain accident-free the entire year prior to competition just to qualify for their state truck driving events. Competitions consist of a driven portion, pre-trip inspection, and a written exam on subjects such as laws, regulations and vehicle maintenance.
More than a national safety competition, the National Truck Driving Competition brings drivers and families together for a special week of camaraderie and pride. Most of the drivers who attend say that it is a carrier highlight.
We wish this year’s NTDC competitors the best of luck.
Fans and supporters of Holland professional drivers are invited to follow their NTDC progress on Facebook.