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APTA Pro Driving Championships

By George Fullerton

Brad Ferrish explained that being selected as the Rookie of the Year at the Professional Driving Championships, held in Masstown, Nova Scotia, was an unexpected honour.
“Participating in the driving competition for the first time was a positive experience. It was an opportunity to meet and engage with a group of professional drivers and put our driving skills to the challenge” commented Brad.
Brad has been a professional driver for only three years, and has been employed by Classic Freight for more than one year and for nine months has been a driver coach. Brad was awarded the APTA Professional Driver of the Month April 2017.
The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association’s Safety Council hosted the driving competition on May 27, which turned out to be a windy and decidedly cool spring day. The APTA Safety Council was supported by a dedicated group of volunteers from the Association member companies. Volunteers give up an entire weekend to help conduct the competition, as well as countless volunteer hours getting the logistics right.
The completion attracted thirty-seven driving competitors, in four classes. The line up included eight rookies to the professional competition.
Kenny Mac Donald took central responsibility in the event serving as track master, keeping volunteers on task and the competition running smoothly. Kenny works as an Occupational Health and Safety Officer for the Province of Nova Scotia, and has been involved with the driving championships for nine years. In addition to serving as track master, he has judged nearly all of the driving tests, including pre trip inspections. Kenny pointed out that this year’s competition welcomed thirty eight volunteers without whom the driving championship would not get off the ground.
“The level of professionalism at this year’s competition exceeded expectations, both on and off track,” explained Kenny. “I feel the industry gains a lot of positive exposure (through the competition) and it’s the drivers day to experience well deserved recognition and appreciation. It’s a great day for networking for both the drivers and the companies involved. Unfortunately the Nationals, which were scheduled for Manitoba this year, have been cancelled due to a couple of provinces not being able to obtain the funding or support.”
Competition Results:
• 2 Axle (Straight Truck) – 1st place – Arthur Burns, Connors Transfer Limited, 2nd place – James L Chambers, Armour Transportation Systems, 3rd place – Donald Delong, Day & Ross Transportation Group, Professionalism Award – Donald Delong, Day & Ross Transportation Group.
• 4 Axle (Single Tandem) – 1st place – Steve MacPhee, Day & Ross Transportation Group, 2nd place – Darren Cunningham, Armour Transportation Systems Group, 3rd place – John Chambers, Armour Transportation Systems,
• 4 Axle Professionalism Award – Darren Cunningham, Armour Transportation Systems Group.
• 5 Axle (Tandem Tandem) – 1st place – Rod Wood, Island Gas Ltd., 2nd place – Norman Gallant, Armour Transportation Systems, 3rd place – Jean-Marc Detraz, Keltic Transportation Inc., 5 Axle Professionalism Award – Doug Hirtle, Eassons Transport Limited.
• B-Train (Super B Train) – 1st place – Byron Tuttle, Home Hardware Stores Limited, 2nd place – Rob Stevens, Home Hardware Stores Limited, 3rd place – Glenn Fisher, Midland Transport Limited.
• B-Train Professionalism Award – Glenn Fisher, Midland Transport Limited.
• Rookie of the Year 2017 Award – Brad Ferrish, Classic Freight Systems.
• Professional Driver Team Award – Armour Transportation Systems.
The Atlantic Driving Championships is an opportunity for professional truck drivers to put their knowledge and everyday driving skills to the challenge of being evaluated against their peers. Every competitor deserves recognition for their professional skills and approach to safety.
Congratulations are also directed to all of the 2017 Atlantic Driving Championships Winners, they are the face and ambassadors of our industry.

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