It's the trucking industry's most prestigious challenge, and this August, Conway Central Express driver Dave James of Rochelle will be heading down to Tampa for the National Truck Driving Championships.
"You get pumped up for it, but I have confidence that I can just get in the truck and do it. I don't get too nervous," says James.
James placed 1st in the 5-axle equipment class at the recent Illinois State Truck Driving Championships, but this wasn't the first time he took home top honors.
"I won State 7 times and Nationals back in 2000," says James.
Industry experts will evaluate the state champions in several areas. "We do a written test, pre-trip, personal interview with a police officer," says James. And then there's the driving test where drivers need to maneuver a tractor trailer through an obstacle course.
James has been a truck driver for 26 years driving more than 2.8 million accident free miles in his career. To put that in context, that's like driving to the moon and back about 6 times.
We're very proud of him. He works very hard, and we're very proud of him," says Rock Falls Service Center Manager Mike Gunderson.
So if you ever spot Dave on the road, give him a thumbs up because not only is he a truck driving champion, but his superior safety record is truly something to be admired.
James won the National Championship back in 2000 and in honor of his win; Conway Central Express bought James a new Ford pick-up truck.