Mike Russell
(703) 838-7935

Sunday, January 8, 2006

2006 National Truck Driving Championships Confirm August Competition

ALEXANDRIA, VA--The American Trucking Associations today delivered some good news to New Orleans, LA as the city continues its struggle to recover from the damage and destruction wreaked by Hurricane Katrina.

Rather than moving to another venue, ATA confirmed that the 2006 National Truck Driving Championships will go on as scheduled August 15-19 in New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Nearly 400 top professional truck drivers from all across the U.S. will visit the “Big Easy” for the “Super Bowl of Safety”, sponsored annually by the ATA. The national competition last rolled into New Orleans in 2000.

“The trucking industry and our professional drivers were first on the scene when Louisiana needed emergency help,” said Bill Graves, ATA President and CEO. “We’re still there helping with recovery and rebuilding. The affirmation of our plans to hold the Championships in New Orleans is another strong indication that our industry is committed to doing its part to rebuild the hurricane-damaged parts of the southeastern U.S.”

“Our New Orleans competition will be a great showplace to not only demonstrate their safe driving skills but also that truckers will help when needed--anytime, anywhere.” said Michael Baker (Usher Transport, Louisville, KY), Chair of the 2006 National Truck Driving Championships Committee. “We think the city is ready for us.”

“The trucking industry helped more than any other transportation mode in the rescue and recovery effort in our state,” said Cathy Gautreaux, Executive Director of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, who was active in the recovery activities. “From day one, the call went out for trucks and the state trucking associations, ATA, and trucking companies from all over America responded immediately. We welcome the opportunity to thank them personally in the very place they helped us so much.”

The NTDC contestants will be the state champions (in eight truck classes) from all 50 states. In their respective classes--from 18-wheeled five-axle sleepers to tank trucks to twin trailers to straight trucks (and more) --they will compete in New Orleans for four days, challenging their driving skills, and knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. When it is all over on Saturday, August 19, the U.S. will have a new National Grand Champion Truck Driver, individual champions in each class and a state champion team.