The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

June 7, 2014

Trucking on to the championship

CLINTON — Ten years ago, Aaron Mendoza, 28, never expected that he would be a semi-truck driver some day.

After almost eight years, it’s something he really loves.

“The places I’ve seen, the experiences I’ve had driving trucks,” Aaron said.

Having lived in the Clinton area since he was 5, Aaron even worked as a carrier for the Clinton Herald from age 14 to 16. After graduating from high school, he got a job at the Pepsi warehouse and eventually asked about training on the trucks.

“Before I knew it, I was a driver,” Aaron said.

He now works as a line haul driver for FedEx in East Moline, Illinois, operating double or “twin” trailers. Aaron and his family traveled Thursday and Friday to the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, for him to compete in the 2014 Iowa Truck Driving Championships.

The championship is an event put on by the Iowa Motor Truck Association that “showcases the professionalism that exists among Iowa’s finest drivers,” according to the IMTA website www.iowamotortruck.com. The IMTA formed in 1942 with the goal of providing Iowa’s trucking industry with a voice at the Iowa State Capitol.

The championship has been held for more than 40 years. More than 100 drivers, who have maintained an accident-free driving record for at least one year prior to the competition, participate in the competition each year. This year was Aaron’s second to compete in the event.

Aaron had heard about the competition from a co-worker and thought it sounded interesting. The competition includes a written test covering general knowledge, an oral interview and an obstacle course. It also includes a pre-trip inspection test.

“They make a truck and put deficiencies on it and you have to go around and find the deficiencies,” Aaron said.

Text Only
Top News
  • Hawkeyes to offer student tickets to public

    Iowa athletic director Gary Barta says the Hawkeyes will make any unsold student football tickets available to the general public as well on Aug. 1.

    July 25, 2014

  • Old story, new twists in Gaza war

    The third Gaza war is playing out much like the first one more than five years ago: The harrowing civilian toll in Gaza is now at the center of the discourse, eclipsing the rocket attacks by Hamas militants that were the stated reason for the Israeli assault.

    July 25, 2014

  • Official: Hospital gunman intended to kill others

    A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, authorities said Friday.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • PHOTOS: Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners

    Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners - Majors, Minors, Pee Wee

    July 25, 2014

  • Foreman calls Iowa murder case a 'slam dunk'

    The foreman of a jury that convicted an Iowa man of killing his pregnant wife says the prosecution's case was a "slam dunk" even if the investigation had flaws.

    July 25, 2014

  • JUST IN: Man shot in downtown Clinton

    A 32-year-old man was shot in downtown Clinton early today.

    July 25, 2014

  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children's clothing scattered in the courtyard.

     

    July 25, 2014

  • Iowa panel sued for rejecting Cedar Rapids casino

    Former Linn County Attorney Eugene Kopecky has sued the Iowa Racing Gaming Commission over its rejection of the proposed Cedar Rapids casino.

    July 25, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 25, 2014

AP Video