Bendix Honors Grand Champion Of 2021 National Battle Of The States: Virtual Truck Driving Championships
ELYRIA, OH… The competition was virtual – but the honors are as real as ever. And when the digital dust settled following the American Trucking Associations (ATA) 2021 National Battle of the States: Virtual Truck Driving Championships, professional driver Ron Round, representing the state of Maine and safely driving for Pottle’s Transportation, was crowned the winner. Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC sponsored the event’s top award – the Bendix NTDC Grand Champion Award – for the 10th time as part of its commitments to highway safety and to honoring the dedicated men and women behind the wheel.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s event took place entirely online, beginning July 31 with state-level trivia contests based on Facts for Drivers, federal and state laws, and state trucking history and culture. These contests sent state winners to the national competition on August 14. To qualify for both the state and national competitions, drivers needed to remain accident-free – regardless of fault – and be continuously employed by the same motor carrier since August 23, 2020.
“Even without the traditional rubber ducks watching an in-person NTDC, Ron’s accomplishment in earning this year’s Bendix NTDC Grand Champion Award is well worth celebrating,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs. “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve all come to appreciate even more the sacrifices and dedication of America’s professional truck drivers, and the competitors in this year’s championships truly exemplify commitment to excellence and everyone’s safety on the roads.”
Round, who has 2.7 million accident-free driving miles in his career, has been a professional driver for 33 years. For the last 22 years, he has driven for Pottle’s Transportation, where he also serves as a driver trainer. Vice president of the Maine Professional Drivers Association, and the association’s Driver of the Year in 2019, Round has also earned multiple awards in the Maine Professional Truck Driving Championships, including seven-time state champion, twice grand champion, and top rookie in 2001. In addition, Round was named the 2018 Maine Motor Transport Association’s Driver of the Year, and in 2019 served as a driver in the Wreaths Across America convoy.
In 2019 and earlier years, the NTDC featured professional truck drivers from across the United States competing in both written and behind-the-wheel challenges. The 2022 National Truck Driving Championships are expected to be in person in Indianapolis, Indiana. The last ATA in-person competition was held in 2019, with Middletown, Ohio-based professional driver Scott Woodrome earning his second consecutive Grand Champion trophy.
“Nobody does what America’s truck drivers do day in and day out to keep the country moving forward,” Andersky said. “They’re the lifeblood of communities big and small, and their skills in safely operating vehicles are a crucial part of all of our lives, even if we don’t see it firsthand: They’re inspiring and deserving of our gratitude and recognition.”