From August 10-13, the very best drivers in our country converged on Indianapolis to compete at the 2016 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC). Commonly referred to as “The Super Bowl of Safety,” the NTDC is the most elite venue for competitive truck driving in our nation.
In fact, simply qualifying for NTDC is a major accomplishment. To compete, drivers must first take top honors at their state-level safety competitions, and also maintain a collision-free driving record for the entire year prior.
After achieving those honors, New Penn professional driver Richard Gagnon took his talents to Indy this August and made New Penn proud. Rick performed very well in a highly competitive, tightly knit contest, and showed that he is still one of the best drivers in the country.
We say “still” because Rick Gagnon is no stranger to the NTDC. In fact, this was his fourth consecutive year competing at nationals and his sixth time overall! That’s a whole lot of “best of the best” state truck driving championship success, and we are confident that Rick will continue to build on his record for years to come.
Rick has been driving professionally for 27 years and has spent the past 20 years with New Penn as a City Driver out of our Providence, RI terminal and most recently out of our Springfield, MA terminal. Rick’s long history of safety championships began in 2009, when he took first place in the 5-Axle class and was named Grand Champion of the Rhode Island Truck Driving Competition. The title of Grand Champion is given to the driver with the highest overall score in the competition across all classes.
Rick has taken gold in the 4-Axle category in the state of Rhode Island four times, and most recently this year, won in the state of Massachusetts. Each of those first place finishes earned him a trip to NTDC, where he is a top competitor.
Rick Gagnon represents the very best of New Penn and the industry at large. His commitment to safety and self-improvement make him an exceptional example of hard work and professionalism.
When it comes to staying safe behind the wheel, Rick says it’s all about maintaining your focus.
“The number one key when driving is to always be fully aware of your surroundings,” said Rick. “You have to be aware of weather conditions, road conditions, your own vehicle, the people around you…everything.”
“NTDC is always a special trip,” said Rick. “Meeting other drivers with the same dedication to their craft, who enjoy competing against one another is great. It also helps me sharpen my skills as a driver and increase my knowledge of the industry, while competing against the very best of the best. These competitions are a great experience, and I wish other drivers would try it out and see what they are missing.”
Team New Penn thanks and congratulates Rick on his continued safety success, and wish him the best of luck in the 2017 safety competitions! Drivers like Rick are what make New Penn the industry-leader that it is today.
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