Inspector nonpareil

Fifty roadside inspectors from across North America competed in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2012 North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC), but only one could come away with the Jimmy K. Ammons Grand Champion Award: Trooper Christopher Smithen (pictured) of the Nevada Highway Patrol.

A CVSA-certified North American Standard Inspector, Smithen earned the Ammons honor for his combined performances in six competition elements: North American Standard Level I Inspection; North American Standard Level I Inspection Procedures; North American Standard HazMat/Transport of Dangerous Goods Inspection; North American Standard Cargo Tank/Other Bulk Packaging Inspection; North American Standard Level V Motorcoach Inspection; and North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Exam.

Smithen was also honored with the John Youngblood Award of Excellence, which is bestowed on an NAIC Inspector by his or her fellow contestants for “exemplifying high standards and unwavering dedication to the profession.”

Horse talk 

At a recent media ride & drive event for the new Ram 1500 pickup line, a horse with no name ambled by for a closer look. Our intrepid reporter couldn’t resist telling the friendly equine that it’d take a herd of 305 of his brethren to match the power put out by the 3.6L Chrysler Pentastar V6 under the hood of this 2013 crew-cab model.

Good Stuff!

The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) is seeking nominations for the sixth annual Mike Russell “Good stuff ” Trucking Image Award. The award honors those who creatively generate positive awareness of trucking. This year’s award is sponsored by TMW Systems. “It’s important to highlight trucking’s role as the backbone of the American economy,” noted Bill Graves, ATA president & CEO. Submissions must reach ATA by Sept. 28.

Is the horn hooked up? 

Volvo Trucks has partnered with the Greensboro (NC) Children’s Museum to open a permanent exhibit boasting a Volvo VNL 670 tractor. The interactive display lets kids ”get behind the wheel and explore all aspects of the truck and its sleeper cab as they learn the importance of trucks in society.”

”The exhibit provides a fun environment for children to learn about the integral role trucks play in sustaining the quality of life in our communities,” said Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Trucks North America sales & marketing. “Greensboro is home to Volvo Trucks, and we’re proud to have a place where our employees can take their children to learn about the industry we serve.”

The Volvo display aims to provide an ”active and imaginative setting to learn about Volvo’s focus on safety and environmental care... and to teach children how to safely cross the street in front of stopped vehicles and buckle three-point safety belts—a feature Volvo invented in 1959.”

“We are thrilled to have a Volvo truck as our newest addition,” remarked musuem CEO Marian King. ”We are a leader in developing creativity, curiosity and learning through play. The bright red truck will inspire and entertain for years to come.”