Upon closer inspection, Jeremy Usener is a grand champion.
The Texas Department of Public safety highway patrol trooper recently claimed the Jimmy K Ammons Grand Champion award after two days of tough competition in six standard inspection categories at the North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC).
Usener received his award at the first joint awards ceremony featuring the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s NAIC, the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championships and the National Step Van Driving Championships.
This year’s edition of the only event dedicated to testing, recognizing and awarding excellence in commercial motor vehicle (CMV) inspection included 52 CMV inspectors from jurisdictions across the US gathering in Columbus OH.
All of the inspection categories are timed events and the compilation of scores for those categories result in a Grand Champion, which is the highest honor for commercial motor vehicle roadside inspectors.
An award is given to each inspector who scores the most points representing each of the three participating countries: Canada, Mexico and the United States. The following High Points Awards were presented during this year’s NAIC:
- Sean McAlister High Points Canada Award: Samantha Sarasin, Ontario Ministry of Transportation
- High Points Mexico Award: Luis León Merino Gómez, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT)
- High Points United States Award: Jeremy Usener, Texas Department of Public Safety
Awards are given for first, second and third place for the following inspection categories:
The North American Standard Hazardous Materials/Dangerous Goods and Cargo Tank/Bulk Packagings Inspection includes additional inspection steps related to identifying hazardous materials/dangerous goods and markings, labeling, placarding, packaging, identification, etc.
- First Place: Jeremy Usener, Texas Department of Public Safety
- Second Place: Samantha Sarasin, Ontario Ministry of Transportation
- Third Place: Aaron Azbill, Arizona Department of Public Safety
The North American Standard Level V Passenger Carrier Vehicle Inspection is an inspection of motorcoaches and other passenger-carrying vehicles. Passenger vehicle certified inspectors are specially trained commercial motor vehicle enforcement personnel equipped to inspect both the motorcoach and driver, while also taking responsibility for the safety of passengers.
- First Place: Roberto Pinedo, Utah Department of Transportation
- Second Place: Trevor Todd, British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
- Third Place: Jeremy Usener, Texas Department of Public Safety
The North American Standard Level I Inspection is the most commonly performed inspection. It is a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness.
- First Place: Aaron Azbill, Arizona Department of Public Safety
- Second Place: Trevor Snodden, Alberta Justice Solicitor General
- Third Place: Roberto Pinedo, Utah Department of Transportation
The Team Award is given to the team with the highest combined score. The team with the highest score this year was the Yellow Team. Member of the Yellow Team included:
- Trevor Todd, British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
- Jason Gregory, Missouri State Highway Patrol
- Kris Hunzeker, Nebraska State Patrol
- Daniel Jacquez, New Mexico Department of Public Safety
- Brian Wilson, Ohio State Highway Patrol
- Jeremy Usener, Texas Department of Public Safety
- Roberto Pinedo, Utah Department of Transportation
- Matthew Nesto, Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
- Maxwell McGuire, Washington State Patrol
A special award, the John Youngblood Award of Excellence, is an honor NAIC contestants bestow upon a fellow NAIC inspector who exemplifies the high standards and unwavering dedication to the profession. This year, NAIC contestants voted to present the John Youngblood Award to Matt Johnson from the Illinois State Police.
Each year, since NAIC’s start in 1998, the championship has been co-located with ATA’s National Truck Driving Championships. However, this year was the first year that a joint awards ceremony was held to announce the driver winners for NTDC and the inspector winners from NAIC.
NAIC was created to recognize inspectors and officers – the backbone of the commercial vehicle safety program in North America – and to promote uniformity of inspections through training and education.
Next year’s NAIC is scheduled for August 13-17, 2019, in Pittsburgh PA.