Major Win for TP Trucking at 2024 ORTDC

Russ Skinner (above, right) and James Varley got third and second place respectively in the Five-Axle Trailer-Semitrailer category of the 2024 Oregon Truck Driving Championship at FedEx Freight in Portland.

April 27th marked the day of the annual Oregon Truck Driving Championship (ORTDC) hosted by the Oregon Trucking Association (OTA) at FedEx Freight, where 92 experienced drivers from multiple companies showcased some of their skills and knowledge within different categories relating to safety practices on the road.

The representatives of TP Trucking and competitors of this year’s event were: Stephen Ferris, Russ Skinner, James Varley, and Blaine Swanson. Despite possessing different levels of experience in different areas of Trucking, they all brought unique valuable knowledge and skills to the event.

The competition was broken down into four parts: An interview segment where drivers were asked specific safety questions relating to trucking guidelines. A written test portion where competitors needed to sit down and answer essay-like questions relating to many aspects of trucking. A short and long driving course demonstration where drivers had to go through three different obstacle course challenges in their respective categories. Lastly, a pre-trip examination where drivers were tested on their ability to identify and account for defects on their trucks and trailers, ensuring everything worked properly prior to taking off from the location.

During the short and long driving course demonstration section, the first challenge consisted of performing a reverse parking maneuver with the trailer onto a simulated 90-degree alley dock, where drivers were graded on how close or far the end of the trailer was parked from the end of the dock, as this is a very common mistake when it comes to loading and unloading material into a narrowly spaced location.

Following this, the second portion of the course demonstration consisted of maneuvering a tight turn; a traffic cone and a medium-sized rubber duck were placed at the very edge of the curve to act as obstacles. The driver was required to be well aware of the trailer’s dimensions and not run over the duck or the traffic cone in any way, as this would subtract points from their final score.

Finally, the last portion of this section was pulling forward and parking the truck onto a marked line on the ground. The driver had to make sure to stop at the right time and as close as possible to the line without passing it.

After this, the drivers were taken to the last section of the competition which consisted of a pre-trip comprehensive examination. The drivers were taken to an area where they were expected to answer a series of questions and physically show if their truck or trailer possessed any issues before their departure.

After a long wait of cold wind and anticipation, the winners were finally announced: TP Trucking’s Lead Driver Trainer, Russ Skinner, and Driver Coach, James Varley placed third and second place respectively in the Five-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer (flatbed) category of the 2024 Oregon Truck Driving Championship. They were both given a plaque and recognition from the organization. They were then congratulated by TP Trucking’s Driver Manager, George Wood. “I would like to compliment our drivers for their success in the competition and thank our volunteers for their hard work and supporting the team.” He states the event works to promote both pride and safety in their workplace: “The Oregon TDC is a great way to encourage safe driving habits, instill professional pride, and increase commitment and retention.”

This marked the second year that both of our drivers have won in the flatbed category of the competition. “I didn’t see that coming,” Russ said. According to our drivers, this was an unexpected but greatly appreciated win. It’s evident that competitors from TP Trucking showed a tremendous effort during the competition; A clear reflection of their pride and passion as professionals in the Trucking industry. We hope to see our drivers back in the competition next year, to prove once again that TP Trucking doesn’t joke around when it comes to safety and skills behind the wheel!