National Truck Driving Championships


The National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC) is a competition of professional truck drivers hosted each year by the American Trucking Associations. 

This competition has a long history – dating back to 1937 when it was known as the National Truck Rodeo. The NTDC competitors are made up of the winners in eight classes of competition from 50 State Trucking Associations’ Truck Driving Championships.  During the TDC and NTDC competition, each driver has a chance to demonstrate his or her driving and inspection skills, knowledge and professionalism through a series of tests. The drivers undergo a written examination, pre-trip inspection test and finally, the most visible - the skills test. These annual competitions inspire tens of thousands of drivers to operate accident-free for the right to compete.

Program Goal

The Championships are a great incentive for professional truck drivers to operate safely, because they must be accident-free for at least one year prior to the competition. Many of the competitors have millions of accident-free driving miles to their credit.

When asked, professional drivers will tell you that they are drawn to the Championships by the spirit of competition and by the prestige of being named the best of the best. It is described by drivers as being like the Olympics, where they come to win but revel in the camaraderie and excitement. In addition to First, Second and Third Place titles, drivers vie for the Professional Excellence Award, the Vehicle Condition Award, the Rookie of the Year Award and the ultimate designation – The Grand Champion award.

The "How to Conduct a Company Championships" and "Championships Diagrams," as well as many forms and reports, allow companies to get involved in the program with little startup time or expense. To order, call 1 (866) 821-3468, or order online at and type "Championships" in the keyword search.

The rules for the championships have evolved since the inception of the program in 1937. Published yearly, the rulebook reflects any changes agreed upon throughout the year by the 20-member Championships Committee. The committee, which dictates almost every aspect of the event, is comprised of high level safety professionals.

How to Get Involved

To qualify, a driver competes in one of eight equipment categories in the state his or her CDL was issued in or the state in which his or her company has corporate domicile. The categories are:

  • Straight Truck
  • Three-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer
  • Four-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer
  • Five-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer (Tank)
  • Five-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer (Van)
  • Five-Axle Tractor-Semitrailer (Flatbed)
  • Five-Axle Tractor (Sleeper Cab) -Semitrailer (Van)
  • Twin Trailers
  • Step Van

To be eligible, a driver must maintain continuous employment with a motor carrier fleet for a continuous period of at least one year and remain accident free, regardless of fault, for one year prior to NTDC.

Rules and requirements can vary slightly from state to state. Please contact your local State Trucking Association for their complete regulations.

The National Truck Driving Championships are an excellent way to encourage safe driving habits, instill professional pride, and increase commitment and retention. For more information, please call 703.838.1919 or email


Start Your Own Truck Driving Championship

Many companies host their own truck driving championships as a method of reinforcing their safe driving initiatives. Some may use it to decide who will attend to the State Competitions while others may be looking to simply offer their drivers the reward and recognition they deserve.

Whatever your reasoning, the SMC has made hosting your company championship a snap. Log online now to order "How to Conduct a Truck Driving Championship" as well as "championship diagrams" and the many forms and reports that will ease your planning. These products allow companies to get involved in the program with little startup time or expense.

To order, call 866-821-3468 or log on to