Competitors from previous years returned and first-time challengers lined up to compete in the Mack Driving Skills Challenge.
In this popular event, Mack sets up a course with six “problems,” or situations encountered in everyday driving.
“This is my third World of Concrete and my second try at the Mack Challenge,” said Ben Ketola, of Laser Pro Foundations, Rindge, N.H. “I think I rushed through a bit too fast, so I'll probably wind up in the middle of the pack. Know where the front and back of the truck are. You can visualize it and know your boundaries.”
The competition was close. Paul Dauphinais, of Dauphinais Concrete, Sutton, Mass., grew up in the business his father started in 1932. He drove his first yard truck in 1959 and got in the business full time in 1969 with a chauffer's license before there were CDLs. “It's pretty realistic except it wasn't on rough terrain,” he said. “I missed pulling up to the finish line. Otherwise, they told me I had a perfect score.” But that one miss kept Dauphinais from placing.
Not pictured: First place individual: Joseph Milburn, Canadian Ready Mix, Hamilton, Ont.