It's been a good year or so for truck driver Bill Krouse of YRC Freight. He was named the Minnesota Trucking Association's Driver of the Year in 2014 and over the weekend he was the Grand Champion at the Minnesota Truck Driving Championships.
Krouse bested 106 competitors who competed in the event at the Fed Ex Freight Terminal in Roseville.
Drivers scored points for not hitting obstacles while navigating a slalom course, backing up and other maneuvers they often do on the road. They also scored points for their performance on a test with questions taken from the American Trucking Association's "Facts for Drivers" book and completing a pre-trip inspection in which they had to identify safety defects planted on a tractor-trailer.
Drivers had to have been nominated by their carrier and accident-free for one year to have participated in weekend's event.
"Many have never had an accident," said spokeswoman Kelly Snyder. "That is a great feat to have."
Krouse will represent Minnesota at the National Truck Driving Championships Aug. 11-15 in St. Louis.
Here are the local winners in each of the nine classes:
Grand Champion: Bill Krouse, YRC Freight
Written Test Winner: Paul Butkowski, FedEx Freight
Pre-Trip Winner: Paul Butkowski, FedEx Freight
Rookie of the Year: Dionn Clare, LME, Inc.
Small Team Champion: Holland, Inc.
Large Team Champion: FedEx Freight
Howie Johnson Memorial Award: Steven Berwald, US Foods
Five-Axle: Duane Maroney, YRC Freight
Flatbed: Bill Krouse, YRC Freight
Four-Axle: Robert Janke, FedEx Express
Sleeper Berth: Jeffery Rider, FedEx Ground
Step Van: Alex Lofgren, FedEx Ground
Straight Truck: Reginald Copeland, FedEx Freight
Tank: Steven Berwalk, US Foods
Three-Axle: Paul Butkowski, FedEx Freight
Twin Trailer: Galen Sonnek, Indpt Diversified Trans