LEBANON, Pa., Aug. 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — New Penn announced today that professional drivers and safety champions Rick Gagnon and Matt Ketcham won the division titles at their state truck driving competitions and have qualified to compete at the 2015 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC). They will compete in the annual NTDC competition held August 11-15 at the America’s Center Convention Complex & Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.
Rick Gagnon earned first place in the 5-axle division at the Rhode Island State Truck Driving Championships held May 16 inCranston, R.I. Rick has won the 5-axle division at the Rhode Island State Truck Driving Championships five times in his career. He won first place at the Rhode Island state competitions in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014.
Rick has been driving professionally for 27 years – the last 20 were spent driving for New Penn. Rick operates as a pickup and delivery driver out of the New Penn Cranston, R.I. terminal. He is celebrating 13 years of collision-free driving and was also named the 2009 Rhode Island Grand Champion professional driver. To be named Grand Champion, a driver must finish with the highest overall score out of all classes in the competition.
Matt Ketcham won first place in the Sleeper division at the Vermont and New Hampshire State Truck Driving Championships held June 6 in Pembroke, N.H. Matt started competing in his state truck driving championships just three years ago but in that time he has secured two third-place trophies in the 4-Axle division as well as this year’s first place win in Sleeper division.
Matt has been driving professionally for 39 years – the last 9 of which he has spent driving for New Penn. Matt operates as a pickup and delivery driver out of the New PennBurlington, Vt. terminal. He has tallied over two million consecutive miles of collision-free driving during those 39 years. Matt also utilizes his safety expertise as a driver trainer and a member of the safety committee at the company’s Burlington terminal.
“World-class drivers like Rick and Matt are what make New Penn the quality next-day industry-leader it is today,” said Don Foust, president of New Penn. “The entire New Penn team congratulates Rick and Matt. Their motivation to compete is a reflection of their outstanding driving skills, professionalism and commitment to safety. New Penn employees understand that a focus on safety is what enables us to meet our service commitments to our customers and allows our drivers to return home safely to their families after every shift. We applaud Rick and Matt as well as our other safety champions for their focus and commitment to safety.”
In order to qualify for state truck driving competitions, drivers must remain collision-free the entire year prior to competition. Competitions consist of a driven portion, pre-trip inspection, and a written exam on subjects such as laws, regulations and vehicle maintenance.
Fans and supporters of New Penn drivers are invited to follow their progress on New Penn social media.
About New Penn
New Penn, a regional less-than-truckload motor carrier based in Lebanon, Pa., provides industry-leading reliability and next-day service through a network of 25 service centers in the northeastern United States, Quebec, Canada and Puerto Rico. New Penn is widely regarded as one of the most efficiently operated transportation providers and has one of the lowest claim ratios in the industry. New Penn is a subsidiary of YRC Worldwide.
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