Drivers bring home a haul of trophies
Four drivers brought home five pieces of hardware — and loads more knowledge and experience — from the Nebraska Truck Driving Championships in Grand Island, Neb., in June.
“I thought I knew a lot — haha! No way. I learned a lot,” said Bob Duff, driver for Lyman-Richey Sand & Gravel.
The two-day competition consists of a 40-question written test, a personal interview, a pre-trip inspection test, and an obstacle driving test.
“It was a tiring, tiring two days,” said LRSG driver Jennifer Kastens. “I went to college, and I don’t think I’ve even taken a trig test that was as hard as that [written test].”
Kenny Dillon, of Ready Mixed — Bellevue, placed first in the Mixer Truck Driving category and also won the overall pre-trip inspection competition, beating out the other 102 competitors from all classes.
Tommy Inzauro, of Ready Mixed — Elkhorn, placed third in the Mixer Truck division.
LRSG’s Duff and Kastens took first and second place respectively in the Truck & Pup category.
Daryle Salie of Ready Mixed construction, Felipe Silva and Andrew Ward of Ready Mixed — Bellevue, and Ethan Edwards of Standard Ready Mix — Cherokee were also members of the Lyman-Richey team.
Though the trophies are nice, team members said they’re also coming back with a lot more knowledge and respect for safety, especially for the importance of pre-trip checks.
“If we don’t take care of our trucks, our trucks aren’t going to take care of us,” said pre-trip champion Dillon, who competed for the first time this year.
“That stuff gets ingrained into your brain,” Kastens added. “Every morning when I go out there to do my pre-trip, I can still see that competition. ... You’re more aware of everyday things.”
The Lyman-Richey crew also felt they gained a greater sense of teamwork from the experience.
“Even though we were going to compete against each other, we worked [to prepare] as a team,” Dillon said. “I just thought it brought us a little bit closer together. ... We went out there as a team and came home as a team.”
Though it’s a lot of work, the competitors got to have some fun, too.
On Friday night the Championships Committee hosted a BBQ and various Las Vegas-style games with play money the competitors used to get raffle prizes.
In addition, every year the chair of the committee chooses a charity to raise money for. This year’s chair, Lyman-Richey’s Safety Director Dave Dailey, chose Make-A-Wish.
During the Vegas games, Dailey and the committee set up a ‘jail’ that people could pay to send people to or get people out. In a few hours, they raised nearly $1,300 for Make-A-Wish.