Two Skyline Drivers Compete at State Championships
Drivers Show their Stuff at the TN Truck Driving Championships
This past weekend, two Skyline drivers competed in the 2018 Tennessee Truck Driving Championship in Nashville.
Professional drivers Eddie LeSueur and Brian Cabage, both former Drivers of the Year for Skyline, showcased their talents, knowledge, poise and professional driving chops. Day one included a written test and pre-trip. On day two, they had to drive trucks they’ve never sat in through an intricate driving course featuring cones, taped lanes and rubber duckies.
Eddie LeSueur, a current Tennessee Road Team Captain, was our inaugural Driver of the Year in 2014. Albert Lopez was awarded in 2015 and Brian Cabage received his award in 2016. As part of Skyline’s Brandon Bradley Driver of the Year Award, Eddie, Albert and Brian were each invited to compete in the TN Truck Driving Championship for their corresponding year and then invited to participate every year afterwards. This was Eddie’s fourth time competing and Brian’s second.
“It was fun the first time but was even better this year and I was happy they asked me back,” Cabage said. “When I won Driver of the Year in ’16 and they announced that I’d be competing in the state championship, I had only been driving a few years at that time so I was pretty intimidated. I didn’t know what to expect but was glad I went because Eddie and Albert were there to coach me along. This year, I knew what to expect and felt I did much better compared to last year.”
The driving competition had multiple classes including flat bed, tanker, sleeper and 5-axle. Brian competed in the sleeper class and even though that’s what he drives professionally, he said driving the course is much different.
“I get in this truck that I’ve never been in and they ask, ‘Are you ready?’ and I thought ‘You gotta gimme another minute!’. I take off and the steering wheel is too far but I can’t move my seat because I’ve already adjusted my mirrors, the qualcomm is going off, all these things are going on as I come to my first obstacle…but it was fun.”
Brian said driving the course is the complete opposite of what he does as a professional driver, where normally you’re trying to stay away from obstacles. Here, drivers were awarded points for getting close to, but not bumping, any of the targets, like a barrel representing a dock or the ruby ducky “road kill”.
“The obstacles were such small targets and were really hard to see. I couldn’t lean out of the window, so it was a bit of a guessing game. I scored 50 points for getting closest to a duck without touching it, but I couldn’t even see it. The Reeds were there, so I was happy to score. They were proud of me and that made my day. I hope to go again next year.”
The TN Truck Driving Championship was sponsored by the Tennessee Trucking Association and is a preliminary for the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championship that will be held in Ohio this August.
Congratulations Eddie and Brian. Way to represent Skyline and professional truck drivers everywhere!
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