Eligible drivers of non-ATA members can now compete in the National Truck Driving Championships. The change was announced by the board of directors of the American Trucking Assns. (ATA) last week at the organization’s meeting in Orlando.

“We’ve long billed this event as the ‘Super Bowl of Safety,’ so it is fitting that as college football moves to a more inclusive playoff system, we at ATA give more competitors a chance to test their mettle and compete for a championship,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO.

ATA's National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships are held annually, with the winner being named Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion. In 2014, NTDC will be held Aug. 12-16 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“State association executives are proud of their members, particularly those that choose to compete in state truck driving championships,” said Anne Lynch, executive director of the Massachusetts Trucking Association and current TAEC chairman. “By making the national competition more inclusive, we’ll see even more competitors and we’ll be able to truly find the industry’s best drivers.”