Wisconsin trucker gets national recognition - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin trucker gets national recognition

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PLOVER (WAOW) -- A Plover truck driver has been named top in the nation.

Jeff Langenhahn is the first in Wisconsin to win one of the most prestigious awards in trucking.

Langenhahn has been named Grand Champion of the National Truck Driving Championships. The award is based off driver knowledge, safety and experience.

Langenhahn has been behind the wheel of a truck for 29 years. He says reaching this level of expertise takes years of practice.

"I didn't expect [to win]," Langenhahn said, "but I studied hard and practiced hard."

Langenhahn first entered the competition in 1997. Since, he's made it to the Grand Championships five times.

Nearly 500 truckers compete in the national truck driving competition.

Langenhahn calls the competition the"Super Bowl of safety for the trucking industry."

In his 20 years on the road, the Con-way Freight driver has gone almost two million miles without being in a crash.

Those are impressive numbers, but numbers alone do not guarantee a win. Langenhahn first had to advance from the state level into the national championships.

"It's really special to see someone like Jeff win it after he's been so persistent," said the president and CEO of Con-way, Doug Stotlar. "[Langenhahn has] been to the grand championship 5 times."

For his win, Langenhahn received $52,500 and a personalized cab.

"I'm really excited," said Langenhahn, "just all of the support out here celebrating the grand champion win."

Langenhahn hopes to compete again next year.

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