I’ve been a truck driver for 37 years & won the Super Bowl of Safety – my path to 2.5m miles of accident-free driving

A truck driver was crowned the Bendix Grand Champion after demonstrating his driving accuracy and knowledge of truck safety.

The United Parcel Service awarded James Gragg Wilson the title of Bendix Grand Champion at the 2023 National Truck Driving championship.

James Gragg Wilson holds up his trophy after being named champion at the 2023 National Truck Driving Championships


James Gragg Wilson holds up his trophy after being named champion at the 2023 National Truck Driving ChampionshipsPhoto credit: American Trucking Associations

Wilson was presented with a trophy and coveted title at a ceremony in Columbus, Ohio earlier this month.

“Gragg delivered a flawless performance to take home our industry’s top prize and the title of Grand Champion,” said Chris Spear, ATA President and CEO, in a press release.

“This achievement is the epitome of his entire career, at 37 years of age and over 2.5 million miles of accident-free driving.”

However, getting that title wasn’t easy.

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Videos from the event show truck drivers having to maneuver their large vehicles with great precision while being judged by the judges.

Gragg’s total score was compared to that of 418 other championship contenders.

There were participants from 49 different states with a total of 643 million accident-free miles.

“All of the professional drivers who competed this week are phenomenal ambassadors for our industry,” Spear said.

“They are shining examples of road safety and we are proud of their commitment to excellence.”

“Congratulations to Grand Champion Gragg and the rest of the champions of 2023.

“These drivers invest a tremendous amount of time preparing for this competition, and the awards reflect the exceptional effort and commitment to safety they bring to the job every day,” said Dan, Chairman of ATA and President and COO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems Van Alstine.

“I would also like to thank the staff and volunteers for organizing this week’s event. Your efforts were instrumental in making NTDC a huge success once again.”

However, Wilson is no stranger to safe driving – he has won the Nevada State Championship 13 times in six different classes and the Grand Championship five times.

In 2019, he won the Driver of the Year award for the state of Nevada.

The National Truck Driving Championship events began as early as 1937 to encourage American truck drivers to prioritize driving Proud while driving safely.

Since then, the championship has been known as the “Super Bowl of Safety”.


TaraSubramaniam is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: tarasubramaniam@dailynationtoday.com.

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