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Driver & Course Preparation

Driver & Course Preparation
Chairman's Challenge Information Created with Sketch.
About the Challenge

View the complete list of State Truck Driving Championship events for the 2018 season.

Need to contact a FedEx regarding the Chairman's Challenge? Find the information by State & Opco.

Winner's Circle

See the drivers who took home their state championships in 2018.

See the outcomes of previous years' TDC competitions.

Meet the FedEx Aces — drivers who've proven they're are the best of the best year after year.

Driver Resources & Tips

NTDC Drivers are scored in three categories: Written Exam, Pre-trip Inspection and Course Driving.

Written Exam

All states require TDC competitors to take a multiple choice exam that tests their general knowledge about trucking and understanding of safe driving rules, first-aid and fire fighting. The exam includes a broad array of questions that are based on the information in the 2017 Facts for Drivers book.

Ask your safety professional, manager or any veteran TDC competitor for more guidance on what to expect and how to prepare for the written exam.

Tips from veteran TDC competitors:

1. Ask your family, friends and other drivers to quiz you on the facts for drivers material leading up to the competition.
2. Utilize flash cards by writing questions and answers from the 2017 Facts for Drivers book on opposite sides of 3 x 5 index cards.
3. Have your supervisor quiz you about information in the 2017 Facts for Drivers book prior to your shift.

Pre-trip Inspection

The Pre-Trip Inspection is based on the procedure that most FedEx drivers conduct every day. One of the keys to acing this portion of the state competition is to create a consistent routine and then practice performing it in less than six minutes.

Tips from veteran competitors:

1. Get comfortable with performing the inspection fast.
2. Practice timed inspections on your breaks and with other competitors.

Pre-Trip Video Examples:

Step Van Pre-Trip Video
5-Axle Pre-Trip Video
5-Axle Sleeper Pre-Trip Video

Course Descriptions & Diagrams

Definitions: 
Freight Door - A single, freestanding backing barricade.
Alley Dock - A backing barricade with side barricades.
Bullpen - A boxed in backing barricade with predetermined access.

Purpose: 
To back the unit and position the rear of the unit within the confines of the dock and within the scoring zone (18") without touching it.

Scoring:
Position score minus penalties. 

Measurements:
Both corners of rear of the vehicle must be within the confines of the designated doorway. Measure from the center of the tailboard. A free pull-up is at the discretion of the course chairman. The driver shall blow horn when ready for measurement. For the Bullpen problem the driver must use a designated entrance/exit and once inside must do all maneuvering inside the bullpen. 

Penalties: 
5 points - each unauthorized stop.
5 points - each additional pull-up.
15 points - going out of bounds and/or striking course fixture (10 for hit, 5 for reposition).
25 points for failure to follow instructions.
50 points for striking the "door" barricade (Zero the problem)

Alley Dock, Freight Door, Bullpen Diagram

Purpose:
The contestant is required to pull through one set of barricades, turn left or right and proceed through a second set of barricades without stopping or touching any of the barricades. There may be a third set of barricades. 

Scoring: 
Basic score (50 points to start) minus penalties 

Penalties: 
5 points for each instance of stopping.
10 points for brushing the last gate as the vehicle is exiting the problem. 
15 points for going out of bounds and/or striking any course fixture. (10 for hit and 5 for reposition).
25 points for failure to follow instructions. 
50 points if driver cannot complete prescribed maneuver and requests the removal of any barricade. (Zero the problem) 

Dimensions: 
W=11’0” for 102” wide vehicles/11’0” for 96” wide vehicles.
L= Length of vehicle, except twins is 50’0” (11’6” Width) or 55’0” (11’0” Width).
Width of street - no less than 20’ wider than entire width of problem.
Approach - At least 80’ from 90 degree turn.

Offset Alley Diagram

Purpose:
To cross over the scoring zone with the designated tire without stopping. Note: Do not stop unit as this is a no-stop problem.

Scoring:
Position score minus penalties. Score is determined by the bulge of the designated tire (usually the rear most outside trailer tire) as it crosses over the scoring marker. 

Penalties:
15 points for each instance of striking course fixture.
25 points for failing to maintain a normal driving position. 
25 points for failure to follow instructions. 
50 points for stopping. 
50 points for going out of bounds.

Measurements:
A=Inside edge of corner marker (55 gal drum, curb, tire, etc.).
B=Score zone.
C=Usually 40’ (no less than 20’).
D= Usually 40’ (no less than 20’).
Approach-Enough for unit to be straight 20” before apex.

Right Turn - Left Turn Diagram

Purpose: 
The contestant is required to drive the designated tires between the rows of markers comprising the problem without stopping and without touching or displacing any of the markers. 

Scoring: 
Basic score minus penalties. 

Penalties: 
5 points - for each instance of stopping. 
5 points - for each problem marker that is touched. The marker does not have to fall or be displaced to count as a hit. 
15 points - for each instance of going out of bounds and/or striking course fixtures other than the problem markers.
25 points - for failing to follow instructions. 
25 points - for failing to maintain a normal driving position. 
50 points - for going past any set of fixtures in a non prescribed manner with their vehicle. 

Note: This is not intended to punish the driver for a simple misjudgment of the first set of markers. Therefore this penalty should not be imposed until the tire is adjacent to the second set of markers.

Dimensions: 
W= 4" wider than width of point of measurement (overall width of vehicle if driving entirely between the markers; overall width of widest set of duals measured at the side bulge if driving through with just one side of the unit).
A= approach, at least 100' off a turn.
L= 25' to 50'
E= minimum is length of vehicle plus 10'

Straight Line Diagram

Purpose: 
The contestant is required to drive the designated tires between the rows of markers comprising the problem without stopping and without touching or displacing any of the markers. The markers are set in parallel lines, with greater clearance at the entrance and less clearance at the exit. 

Scoring: 
Basic score minus penalties. 

Penalties: 
5 points - for each instance of stopping. 
5 points - for each problem marker that is touched. The marker does not have to fall or be displaced to count as a hit.
15 points - for each instance of going out of bounds and/or striking course fixtures other than problem markers.
25 points - for failing to follow instructions. 
25 points - for failing to maintain a normal driving position. 
50 points - for going past any set of fixtures in a non prescribed manner with his/her vehicle.

Note: This is not intended to punish the driver for a simple misjudgment of the first set of markers. Therefore this penalty should not be imposed until the tire is adjacent to the second set of markers.

Dimensions: 
W= 10" wider than width of point of measurement at entry, and 4" wider than width of point of measurement at exit. Point of measurements is overall width of vehicle if driving between the markers; overall width of widest set of duals measured at the side bulge if driving through with just one side of the unit.
A= approach, at least 100' off a turn.
L= 25' to 50'
E= minimum is length of vehicle plus 10'.

Diminishing Clearance Diagram

Purpose: 
The contestant is required to drive the unit over the top of the rows of markers comprising the problem without stopping and without touching or displacing any of the markers. 

Scoring: 
Basic score minus penalties. 

Penalties: 
5 points - for each instance of stopping.
5 points - for each problem marker that is touched. The marker does not have to fall or be displaced to count as a hit. 
15 points - for each instance of going out of bounds and/or striking course fixtures other than the problem markers. 
25 points - for failing to follow instructions. 
25 points - for failing to maintain a normal driving position. 
50 points - for going past any set of fixtures in a non prescribed manner with his/her vehicle 

Note: This is not intended to punish the driver for a simple misjudgment of the first set of markers. Therefore this penalty should not be imposed until the tire is adjacent to the second set of markers.

Dimensions: 
W= 4" less than distance between the side bulge of the narrowest set of duals on the unit.
A= approach, at least 100' off a turn.
L= 25' to 50'
E= minimum is length of vehicle plus 10'.

Grease Pit Diagram

Purpose: 
The contestant is required to stop with the front bumper in the scoring zone just prior to crossing the stop line. The driver is allowed only one stop. Both corners of the front bumper must be within the confines of the Stop Line. Measure from the center of the bumper. Nuts, bolts, license plate holder, hand truck brackets, etc, are not considered part of the bumper. Do not count these items in your scoring. Use only the flat surface of the bumper itself. The driver shall blow horn when ready for measurement. 

Scoring: 
Position score minus penalties. 

Penalties: 
15 points - each instance of striking any course fix­ture (10 for hit, 5 for reposition).
25 points - failing to maintain normal driving position. 
50 points - stopping and moving before being measured. 
50 points - going out of bounds. 
50 points - failure to blow horn. 

Dimensions: 
L =15' to 18'
W= 4" wide
A = Length of vehicle

Front Stop Diagram

Purpose: 
The contestant after crossing the stop line is required to stop the rear of the vehicle in the scoring zone. The driver is only allowed one stop. The line is set such that it can only be seen on the passenger side of the vehicle. 

Scoring: 
Position score minus penalties.

Measurement: 
Both corners of the tailboard must be within the confines of the stop line. Measure from the center of the tailboard. The driver shall blow horn when ready for measurement. 

Penalties: 
5 points - failure to blow horn. 
15 points - each instance of striking any course fixture. 
25 points - failure to follow instructions. 
50 points - stopping and moving before being measured. 
50 points - going out of bounds. 

Dimensions:
L = 15' to 18'
W= 4" wide
E = Minimum length of vehicle plus 10'.

Approach should be what ever space is needed to assure that the longest vehicle can be straight and perpendicu­lar to the stop line when the rear bumper crosses it.

Rear Stop Diagram

Purpose: 
This problem requires the driver to stop the unit with the designated side of the designated trailer close to a des­ignated curb line, and as parallel as possible to the cur­b line, without touching the curb line. A "qualifying zone" may be used in this problem. The driver is allowed only one stop. No portion of the unit may extend over the curb line.

Scoring: 
Position score minus penalties. 

Measurements: 
Two measurements are taken at the same time from the street side edge of the curb line to the side of the unit at both the front and rear side markers, trailer corners, or other designat­ed spot. A designated spot is normally used when the curb line is shorter than the unit. The FURTHEST (lowest) of the two scores counts. The driver shall blow horn when ready for measurement. If using a "qualifying zone" the entire tailboard must be inside the zone to receive a score.

Penalties: 
50 points - failing to blow horn. 
15 points - each instance of striking a course fixture other than the curb line. 
25 points - failing to maintain a normal driving posi­tion - see page 9. 
25 points - failing to follow instructions.
50 points - stopping and moving before being measured. 
50 points - touching curb line. 
50 points - going out of bounds.

Dimensions: 
L =30' to maximum length of vehicle
D= Qualifying zone depth = 24"
W= Qualifying zone width = 48"

Side Stop/Curb Stop Diagram

Purpose: 
The contestant is required to drive across the scales and stop with the designated tires in the scoring zone. The driver is allowed only one stop. 

Scoring: 
Position score minus penalties - see below. 

Measurements: 
A 30" Score zone is used with the center being a 6” wide 50 point zone and reducing both forward and back­ward scoring zones as shown in diagrams. The designated tires must be totally within the confines of the scale box to qualify. Use a standard measuring stick from the center of the rearmost passenger side axle (for single axle trailers) or from dead center between passenger side axles (for tandem axle trailers) down to the scale. The driver shall blow his horn when ready for measurement. 

Penalties: 
15 points - for each instance of striking course fixtures. 
25 points - for failing to maintain normal driving position.
25 points - for failing to follow instructions. 
No Score - for stopping and moving before being measured. 
15 points- for going out of bounds. 

Dimensions: 
A= 24" longer than tires
B= 12" wider than tires and/or vehicle
C= 30" scoring zone
Approach should be no less than 50' from a 90 degree turn.

Scale Stop Diagram

Purpose: 
The contestant is to negotiate the problem in the prescribed pattern without stopping, going out of bounds, or striking any course fixtures. 

Scoring: 
Basic score minus penalties. 

Penalties:
5 points - for each unauthorized stop. 
15 points - for each instance of going out of bounds or striking course fixtures. 
25 points - for failing to follow instructions. 
50 points - if contestant is unable to complete problem, or requests a barrel fixture to be moved. 

Dimensions: 
A= Approach 50' from 90 degree turn for all.

Note: if approach is from a "RIGHT TURN PROBLEM" and the first fixture is to be passed to the left add an additional 50' to 60'.

W= 50' for all classes
L = Straight truck - Overall length of unit. 
3-axle - Length of trailer only
4-axle - Length of trailer only 
5-axle - Length of trailer only 
Twins - 45'
U = U-Turn area minimum 75' wide for all

Note: If backing and reversing pattern, there must be a minimum space of one vehicle length plus 15' between the last course fixture and the course boundary. If backing and changing lanes to opposite side of last fixture there must be a minimum space of at least one and a half times the overall vehicle length between the last fixture and the course boundary.

Serpentine Diagram

Purpose: 
To cross over the scoring zone with the designated steering tire without stopping. 

Scoring: 
Position score minus penalties. 

Measurement: 
Score is determined by the bulge of the designated tire as it crosses over scoring marker. 

Penalties: 
15 points - for each instance of striking a course fixture other than the problem score markers. 
25 points - for failing to maintain a normal driving position. 
50 points for stopping. 
50 points for going out of bounds. 

Dimensions: 
W= 28'
A= 18'
B=3'
S= scoring zone 

Steering Tire Diagram

Purpose: 
To cross over the scoring zone with the designated tire(s) after the vehicle passes the entry line, without stopping. 

Scoring: 
Position score minus penalties. 

Measurement: 
There are 5 scoring pads, 12" long by 6" wide. The first 6" is worth 10 points, the other 6" is worth 5 points. As a rule the out of bounds marker is placed right against either end of the pad, or omitted completely. Score is determined by the bulge of the designated tire as it crosses over the scoring marker. Once the driver enters scoring zone (usually 15 feet before the first scoring marker) they cannot stop. If the driver stops while in the zone there is no score.

Penalties: 
5 points - for each unauthorized stop outside of zone. 
5 points - for each reposition outside of zone. 
15 points - for each instance of striking a course fixture other than the scoring markers. 
25 points - for failing to maintain normal driving position. 
50 points - for stopping in the zone while going forward. 
50 points - for going out of bounds. 

Dimensions: 
S = scoring pad - 12" x 6" A1= 11'6"
E = enter line 15' A2= 12'
L = 20' to 50' A3=12'6"
W= 20' to 40' A4= 13'
T = 3' to 5' A5= 13'6"

Note: The greater the arc, the longer T must be. The approach for a forward problem should be 100' from a 90 degree turn and no less than the distance needed to get the unit straight from the previous problem. For a backing problem at least 50' from the enter line for the scoring zone plus the length of the unit.

Five Scoring Pads Diagram

Purpose: 
To travel forward through a set of barricades, stop and then back through an adjacent set of barricades without stopping except to make the authorized direction change. After clearing the second set, the driver must stop and then proceed forward thru the designated set to complete the problem. 

Scoring: 
Basic score minus penalties. 

Penalties: 
5 points - for each unauthorized stop. 
15 points - for each instance of going out of bounds or striking course fixture. 
25 points - for failure to maintain normal driving position 
25 points - for failure to follow instructions. 
50 points - if the contestant is unable to complete the problem or requests a barricade or fixture to be moved. 

Dimensions: 
W= 11'6" for 102' units or 11'0" for 96' units.
L = Minimum one and a half times the overall length of the vehicle. 
S = 30'-40' Note: If L is reduced, then W must be increased.

Pull Thru - Back Thru Diagram

Purpose: 
To back the designated portion of the unit into a parking space so that both ends are equally close to the curbline. Can be executed on driver side or passenger side. 

Scoring: 
Position score minus penalties. 

Measurement: 
Measure outwardly from the curb to the side of the unit at the two designated scoring zones, usually the front and rear SIDE reflectors. FURTHEST score counts. The position of the nose and/or tail with reference to the front and rear barricades is unimportant. One free pull-up while entering the problem is normal, however, while exiting the free pull-up is at the discretion of the course chairman as needed by class. The driver shall blow horn when ready for measurement. 

Penalties: 
5 points - for each additional pull-up. 
5 points - failing to blow horn for measurement. 
15 points - each instance of going out of bounds and/or striking any course fix­ture (10 for hit, 5 for reposition) 
25 points - failing to follow instructions
25 points - failing to maintain normal driving position 
50 points - striking curbline with the steering axle of a straight truck or the nose of trailer crossing over the curbline at any time.

Note: The tail may swing over at any time without penalty; however, no part of the body may be on the curbline when driver blows horn. Ignore mud flaps.

DIMENSIONS: 
W = Width of unit plus 6"
L = Length of straight truck plus 6', Length of trailer plus 4'
S = Width of street should be 40' to 50'
R = Reposition area should be 80' to 100'

Parallel Park Diagram

Purpose: 
The contestant is required to stop with the front bumper in the scoring zone just prior to crossing the stop line. The driver is allowed only one stop. Both corners of the front bumper must be within the confines of the Stop Line and Passenger side steer tire must be within confines of qualify zone. Measure from the center of the bumper. Use only the flat surface of the bumper itself. The driver shall blow horn when ready for measurement. 

Scoring: 
Position score minus penalties. 

Penalties: 
50 points - failure to blow horn. 
15 points - each instance of striking any course fix­ture (10 for hit, 5 for reposition). 
25 points - failing to maintain normal driving position.
50 points - stopping and moving before being measured. 
50 points - going out of bounds. 

Dimensions: 
L =12'
W= 4" wide
A = Length of vehicle 
Q = Qualify zone 18" wide 48" deep

Front Stop with Qualifying Zone Diagram

Purpose: 
The contestant is required to stop with the front bumper of the vehicle in the scoring zone, located 15' prior to the simulated railroad crossing. The driver is allowed only one stop. Measure is to be taken from the center of the bumper. The driver shall blow horn when ready for measurement.

Scoring: 
Position score minus penalties. 

Penalties: 
50 points - failure to blow horn. 
15 points - each instance of striking any course fix­ture (10 for hit, 5 for reposition) 
25 points - failing to maintain normal driving position 
50 points - stopping and moving before being mea­sured. 
50 points - going out of bounds 

Dimensions:
L =12'
A = Length of vehicle 
S = Score Zone begins 15' before the railroad crossing

Railroad Crossing Course Diagram