Parkersburg driver among those receiving legislative recognition

PARKERSBURG – A truck driver from Parkersburg is among nine West Virginia drivers recognized by the House of Delegates and Senate on March 13 for driving excellence.

Each of the drivers had earned first place in their category of competition during the 2012 West Virginia Truck Driving Championships.

Richard Spaur of Parkersburg drives for Con-way Freight and won first place in Twins category.

“It’s important for our policymakers to understand the trucking industry and our emphasis on driving safely,” Jan Vineyard, president of the West Virginia Trucking Association, said. “These drivers represent the best of the best in West Virginia and are among the safest and most technically proficient drivers in the country. We appreciate the Legislature’s recognition of their service and the importance of this industry to our state.”

Other drivers recognized were:

* John Hodges, Hurricane, was awarded the 2012 Grand Champion Award. Hodges, a UPS Freight driver, also took first place in 3-Axle Semi-trailer. He has driven for nearly 34 years and has 3.4 million accident-free miles.

* James Priddy, Charleston, drives for FedEx Freight who earned first place in the Straight Truck category;

* Tim Hodges, Hurricane, is a driver for UPS Freight. He took first place in the 4-Axle Tractor Semi-trailer category. He has driven for 23 years and more than 800,000 miles.

He won Rookie of the Year in 2009 and won his class of competition that year and in 2010. He is the son of John Hodges.

* Clarence Jenkins Jr., Poca, is a driver for UPS Freight.

He took first place in the 5-Axle Van category.

He has driven for 42 years and has 4.2 million accident-free miles. He has won his class in the West Virginia Truck Driving Championships 16 times and placed first at the Nationals in 1998. He has been grand champion three times and was elected as an American Trucking Associations Road Team Captain for 2007-2008.

* John Gibson, Scott Depot, is a driver for ABF Freight Systems. He took first place in the 5-Axle Tank category.

He has driven for 27 years and more than 615,000 miles. He has won his class of competition four times.

* Kenneth Grimmett, Fayetteville, is a driver for Con-Way Freight. He took first place in 5-Axle Flatbed category.

He has driven for 18 years and 2 million miles. He has won his class of competition five times and placed fifth in the Nationals in 2009 and 2010.

* Steve Looney, St. Albans, is a professional truck driver for Petroleum Transport Inc. He took first place in the Sleeper Berth category. He has driven for 18 years and 2.5 million miles. He also won his class of competition in 2009.

* Tim Bailey, Jr., Salem, is a professional truck driver for UPS. He took first place in the Step Van category.