Walmart trucker wins Bendix national driving title

A Walmart Transportation driver is this year’s big winner in the National Truck Driving Championships held over the weekend in Indianapolis, while drivers for FedEx took home eight major awards.

Charles White, a Walmart driver from Nineveh, Indiana, is this year’s Bendix Grand Champion. He also won the three-axle division.

Charles White the National Truck Driving Championship’s Bendix Grand Champion.

“After an impressive showing throughout the week, Charles White emerged as the most skilled and knowledgeable truck driver in the country,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “On behalf of the ATA and the trucking community, I want to congratulate Charles and thank the entire field of competitors for participating in these championships. Your commitment to excellence has made the nation’s highways a safer place for everyone.”

Some 430 drivers participated in the event held Aug. 10-13. Competitors in the driving championships have accumulated more than 600 million safe-driving miles during their careers.

Richard Merich, a FedEx Freight driver from Lochbuie, Colorado, was the competition’s Rookie of the Year. Merich took home the honor after a strong performance in the flatbed division, according to a statement from ATA.

The team of drivers from South Carolina produced the best collective score, with an average of 278.13, and were honored as the top state delegation.

Charles Woodland, a Fedex Freight driver from Surprise, Arizona, won the Neill Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award. Chris Ignowski, of FedEx Ground, was chosen as the Lifetime Volunteer Award recipient.

Joining White on the list of national champions are:

  • 4-Axle: Ronald Metternick, Lowell, Michigan, FedEx Freight
  • 5-Axle: Toby Kort, Aurora, Nebraska, FedEx Freight
  • Flatbed: Jay Love, Davis, South Dakota, FedEx Freight
  • Sleeper Berth: Larry Breen, Bushnell, Florida, Walmart Transportation
  • Straight Truck: Charles Randolph, Belle, West Virginia, PITT OHIO
  • Tank Truck: Jeffrey Langenhahn, Plover, Wisconsin, XPO Logistics
  • Twins: Chris Poynor, Richland, Washington, XPO Logistics
  • Step Van: Frank Woods, Shawsville, Virginia, FedEx Express

Other awards: Vehicle Condition: William Pudney, Minneapolis, Minnesota, FedEx Freight