The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) announced the winners of the 34th annual IFDA Truck Driving Championship held at Walt Disney World. This event, which celebrates safety and skill, annually draws in drivers from all over the country, where contestants compete in different categories ranging from written examinations to a driving obstacle course and pre-trip inspection.
“It’s been an honor to host our country’s most elite professional truck drivers this weekend and see such great support from their families and friends who came out to cheer on their drivers,” says IFDA President and CEO Mark Allen. “Only a select few can emerge as champions, and it’s a testament to their skill and commitment to safety that they took home top honors this year.”
Shining a spotlight on the skills and talents of professional truck drivers is especially timely given America’s record shortage of truck drivers. The American Trucking Associations estimates 60,000 more drivers are needed to meet current demand, a gap that is expected to grow in the coming years and could threaten U.S. supply chains.
The 2019 IFDA Trucking Driving Championship Winners
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place awards were presented for the three different truck classes in the competition.
- 1st Place: Glenn Anderson of the Eby-Brown Company
- 2nd Place: Duane Kaitoku of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
- 3rd Place: Will Eisen of McLane Foodservice Distribution
3-Axle (28-foot Tractor/Trailer)
1st Place: Erik van’t Veer of Gordon Food Service
2nd Place: Brian Mickels of Shamrock Foods
3rd Place: Sam Palya of US Foods
5-Axle (53-foot Tractor/Trailer)
- 1st Place: Glenn Shaw of Ahold Delhaize USA
- 2nd Place: Ray Carson of Reinhart Foodservice
- 3rd Place: Chris Shirley of Reinhart Foodservice
In addition, a Team Award was presented to the top performing company. Reinhart Foodservice was awarded the Team Award with the highest average score amongst their drivers. A Rookie of the Year award, given to the first-time driver with the highest score, was presented to Sam Palya of US Foods. Finally, Mike Rush of McLane Foodservice received a perfect score on our pre-trip portion of the competition.
The foodservice distribution industry employs 131,000 professional truck drivers in the United States. As a vital part of the supply chain, drivers in the industry earn average annual wages and benefits well above the average for a U.S. worker.