Food industry's finest
drivers earn laurels
at safety competition
Sep 18, 2009 8:56 AM
Nine drivers—including first place winners from Nicholas & Company, U S Foodservice, and Ben E Keith Foods—were recognized for their exceptional performance after competition in the 2009 Food Industry Truck Driving Championship. This safety event tests the skills and knowledge of food industry drivers. Combined, the drivers in the competition represented more than 64 million accident-free miles.
The competition, held by the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), took place September 11–13 and included 102 drivers in three classes of trucks: Straight Trucks, Three-Axle, and Five-Axle. Winners were announced September 13 at the event’s awards banquet at the Rosen Center Hotel and sponsored by Penske Truck Leasing. To compete in the event, drivers had to win a company or local competition. Contestants came from across the United States and from as far away as Hawaii and Canada.
The three-part competition included a written examination to measure driver knowledge of safety and operating procedures, a vehicle inspection to uncover planted equipment defects and safety hazards that could affect vehicle readiness, and a driving course competition where drivers were evaluated on their ability to handle a series of six course problems that simulate everyday operating conditions. Each winner received a cash award, competition medallion, and a trophy.
Winners in the Straight Truck class include:
•First place—Robert Caballero, Ben E Keith Foods, San Antonio TX
•Second place—Mario Gonzales, HE Butt Grocery Company, Houston TX
•Third place—Leslie Ishikawa, Southern Wine & Spirits, Kapolei HI
Winners in the Three-Axle (28-Foot Tractor/Trailer) class include:
•First place—Donald Jacobs, US Foodservice, Fort Mill, SC
•Second place—Kevin Merritt, US Foodservice, Salt Lake City UT
•Third place—John Sustiel, Cheney Brothers Inc, Riviera Beach FL
Winners in the Five-Axle (48-Foot Tractor/Trailer) class include:
•First place—Steve Tribe, Nicholas & Co Inc, Salt Lake City
•Second place—Glenn Shaw, Food Lion LLC, Dunn NC
•Third place—Bruce Thompson, Bozzuto’s Inc, North Haven CT
Sponsors of the event include: Penske Truck Leasing, UniPro Foodservice, XATA Corporation, AFS Technologies, Sugar Foods Corp, Coca-Cola North America Foodservice, Campbell Soup Co, Heinz North America, Georgia-Pacific Professional Food Services Solutions, J J Keller & Associates Inc, Thermo King Corp, Thomas M Williams and Associates Inc, Atlantic Driver Staffing, and Lesesne Industries Inc. Course equipment for the competition was provided by Penske Truck Leasing, Great Dane Trailers, Kidron, and Sysco Corp. IFDA’s Platinum, Gold, and Silver Most Valued Partners provided financial support for this event.
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