Nearly 500 professional drivers and inspectors across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada traveled to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from August 13-17 to participate in the North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC) and National Truck Driving Championship (NTDC).
The American Trucking Association (ATA) and their Safety Management Council offered 427 of the trucking industry’s best drivers a chance to demonstrate their knowledge of the industry, safe driving abilities, and vehicle awareness and be crowned the 2019 NTDC Bendix Grand Champion.
On the other side of the convention center, 51 of the industry’s top troopers, officers, and inspectors gathered to compete in the only event dedicated to recognizing and awarding commercial vehicle inspector excellence: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) NAIC.
This year, the CVSA asked our very own VP of Regulatory Affairs Mike Ahart to be one of 80 judges for the NAIC. We sat down with him to get his experience on being a part of this two-day testing process.
“It was a rewarding experience to participate with the inspectors,” Ahart said. “These are highway patrolmen, police, and people out there every day trying to earn a living, and we got to learn who they are and what challenges they face on a day-to-day basis.”
NAIC contestants competed both as a group and as individuals, Ahart revealed, and were awarded by inspection category. Each was judged based on their successful and timely completion of written and physical inspections.
“The inspectors were tested on multiple vehicle types,” Ahart said. “They went through hazardous material and vehicle inspections as well as written tests.”
Winners of the NAIC paraded around the auditorium with standing ovations from hundreds of friends, family, and supporters of the competition. They were also awarded plaques and a reception to celebrate — but the real prize, Ahart explained, is the personal and industry recognition.
“It’s a big deal,” Ahart said. “The heartfelt appreciation and comradery was really evident in the room.”
Congratulations to NAIC Grand Champion Benjamin Schropfer and NTDC Bendix Grand Champion Scott Woodrome! Learn more about each competition, the many other individual and team winners, and how you can get involved by visiting the NAIC and NTDC websites.