Another Successful OTDC

By Marek Krasuski

Now in its 71st year, the Ontario Truck Driving Championships (OTDC) was held this time at the Powerade Centre on July 8th in Brampton, Ontario. As in previous years, participants competed in several categories in the hopes of earning first, second or third place. Up to 300 industry volunteers devoted their time and expertise to make the event a success, participating either as delegates, judges, committee members, decision makers or spectators.
Penny Rabishaw of Integrated Training Resources and OTDC spokesperson explained the importance of this longstanding industry competition. “For 71 years the Championships have provided a forum for professional truck drivers to display their skill and encourage drivers and their employers to take an active interest in safety, skill and courtesy needed to conduct a responsible business on our streets and highways,” she said, adding, “The Ontario Truck Driving Championships (OTDC) was designed to create greater public awareness that truck driving is an important and necessary profession.”
The OTDC first began in 1947 under a different name as a partnership between the Automotive Transport Association (ATA) and Transportation Safety Association of Ontario (TSAO). Then, as now, the Group is comprised of industry volunteers dedicated to raising the profile of the truck driving industry and presenting a venue to promote safety and professionalism as participants demonstrate their skill sets.
Each category in the competition exemplified the skills and knowledge of the contestants, all of whom are professional drivers. More broadly, though, this annual provincial championship builds awareness about the importance commercial trucking plays in the economy and in the lives of countless thousands. Trucking is much more than driving, requiring the participation of many related sectors.
Heading the line of winners in the truck driving championships was Gerry Morgan of Morgan Firewood who took first prize in the Straight Truck category. Stewart Jutzi of Erb Group took second place and Satnam Singh Sain of Fed Ex Freight got third place standing.
Clary Ward of XPO Logistics was first place winner in the Single-Single category with Sean Pietracupa (XPO Logistics) taking second place and Vince Mallozi (YRC Reimer) third position.
First place winner for the Single-Tandem category was Sebastian Tatar (XPO Logistics) followed by Peter Bellassai (VA Transport) and Jeff Lambkin (Erb Group).
In the Tandem-Tandem division, first place went to Preetpal Nijjar (JD Transportation) with second and third place positions taken by Gregory Flear (Speedy Transport) and Tom Griffith (Heritage Truck).
B-Train winners were Stephan Hughes (Canada Cartage) Dan Congdon (YRC Reimer) and Richard Wills (Canada Cartage), respectively.
Pre-Trip Awards, in descending order, went to Shaun Pietracupa (XPO Logistics), Clary Ward (XPO Logistics), Jeff Lambkin (Erb Group), Rick Lloyd (Linamar Transport), Peter Bellassai (VA Transport), Gregory Flear (Speedy Transport), Preetpal Nijjar (JD Transportation), Tom Griffiths (Heritage Truck), and Craig Babin (Speedy Transport).
Winners for the MTO Award were Clary Ward, Gregory Flear, Tom Griffiths, and Craig Babin.
Preetpal Nijjar won the Highest Points of the Day Award and Rookie of the Year Award went to Norman Doyon of Waste Management. The Grand Champion was Clary Ward of XPO Logistics.

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