LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (September 19, 2019) – The 34th Annual IFDA Truck Driving Championship is designed to showcase the skills necessary to be a truck driver today. But the event is also a chance for families and industry colleagues to show their appreciation for many of America’s hardest-working individuals.

For Fernando Tabares, a driver for Southern California-based Shamrock Foods, the Truck Driving Championships event is a great way to enjoy his profession with his three children – and display his competitive spirit against other drivers.

“As a single dad to three wonderful children, I realize the importance of being a driver and the sacrifices that come with the early morning hours,” said Tabares. “It’s rewarding work, but I also get to pick my kids up from school each day, spend time with them and help them with their homework.”

Trucking and the transportation system are vitally important to the economy. Here in the United States, approximately 800,000 truck drivers deliver over 10 billion tons of multiple commodities, accounting for over $700 billion worth of goods.

To celebrate these hard-working professionals, The IFDA Truck Driving Championships are held each year at the Walt Disney World property in Orlando and organized by the International Foodservice Distributors Association. The event is a three-day program that begins with a written exam followed by a pre-trip inspection and field obstacle course. This year’s event took place September 13 through 15.

“When you’re on the road for work each day you’re constantly focused on the job, the route, and safety protocols,” added Tabares. “However, I’m really excited to let my competitive side shine through at the event, especially during the behind-the-wheel portions of the competition. It’s fun to test your skills against other drivers, but I also really enjoy the education side of the event since you always learn something new in this environment.”

Fleet Advantage, a sponsor for the fifth-straight year in 2019, also honors the individuals and the families that support them in their daily duties.

“We recognize the daily sacrifices these professionals make alongside with their families, and we’re proud to be a leading supporter and sponsor of such an event that celebrates their contribution to the economy and our ability to enjoy our everyday goods and services,” said Brian Holland, President and CFO of Fleet Advantage. 

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The company has been a sponsor and co-organizer of the event’s annual Kids Essay Contest, where children of truck drivers are given three essay questions to share why they are proud of their truck-driving parent, including what Disney character reminds them of their parent and why. 

Twelve-year-old Jocelyn Tabares, daughter of Fernando Tabares, won third place in the 11-13-year category and says: “My driver is my hero because he takes really good care of me and my brothers, and I could not ask for a better dad.”

The essay contest also had children as participants in age groups 8-10, as well as 14-17.

Pictured from left to right: Mark Allen, President of IFDA, Jocelyn Tabares, Sadie Wadman representing Reinheart, and Al Barner of Fleet Advantage. Third winner not pictured – Katy Brown representing Shamrock Foods.

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