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The Rockies.Life Staff

Shut The Truck Up! Truck Driving Champion Shares Professional Tips

Competing in the B-train category, Bingley expertly maneuvered an 80-foot truck through tight challenges, proving his unmatched skill and earning top scores

Transport truck drivers are the unsung heroes of the Canadian economy, transporting goods that people rely on like medical supplies, building materials, and food. 

About 30,000 trucks cross the Canada-United States border daily, carrying more than $1 billion in goods.

Tim Bingley posing with his award | Town and Country Today

Between the countless hours spent alone on the road and the seemingly endless nights, driving a transport truck is physically demanding. 

Transporting precious cargo, meeting strict deadlines, and maneuvering a massive vehicle are just a few challenges truckers need to overcome, all while being exhausted. 

Truckers don’t get enough credit, except for Lac La Biche Transports Tim Bingley who recently got more recognition than he knows what to do with.

At the start of this month, the 50-year-old trucker competed in and won the 2024 Alberta Motor Transport Association’s (AMTA) Professional Truck Driving Championships.

Bingley competed in the B-train category and had to navigate through eight skill challenges on a timed road course.

These challenges included navigating a tractor unit with two trailers measuring about 80 feet. He had to navigate the truck around a curving track without hitting pylons.

Bingley also maneuvered the truck around a 90-degree corner without hitting curbs. Finally, he had to back the truck into a loading dock area. 

However, Bingley wasn’t tested just on his road skills – he also had to complete a written exam and a pre-trip inspection, both of which he earned top scores.

The championship’s road challenges were held at the AMTA’s compound near the Edmonton International Airport. Hundreds of spectators supported the contestants. 

Bingley was one of 34 of the province’s best truck drivers, but this year’s championship wasn’t his first kick at the can. 

“This was my twenty-first year going to the rodeo. I’ve won first before – in 2017, I won in the tandem-tandem category,” Bingley told Town and Country Today.

Bingley has earned dozens of awards throughout his 30-year-long career as a professional truck driver.

Regarding parking a B-train, Bingley is the best man for the job. A B-train truck is like a regular transport truck, except there are two trailers instead of one. 

Twice the fun, twice the challenge!

Truckers from across the province at the Professional Truck Driving Championship
Truckers from across the province at the Professional Truck Driving Championship | Town and Country Today

A Truckload Of Tips

In his infinite wisdom, Bingley has a few tips for becoming an expert B-train trucker. Driving a B-train requires the same principles as driving a standard transport truck.

These principles include being aware of your surroundings, truck maintenance, and planning, which is especially important when driving a B-train. 

Parking a single-trailer truck is much more forgiving. You can turn the wheel sharper, reverse, and pull ahead to try again if you oversteer.  

On the other hand, parking a B-train requires patience and precision. Truckers need to make small adjustments and turns while watching for hazards.

“You are always trying to correct your rear trailer. If you start to jack-knife, you are going to be screwed up,” said Bingley. 

Bingley compares driving a B-train to the Matrix, where truckers need to run many simulations in their head to avoid screwing up. If that’s the case, then Bingley is the Neo of the trucking world.  

Trucking runs in Bingley’s blood. He got his Class I license when he was only 18 and his father was also a trucker. Bingley’s son is currently going for his Class I license too.

A trucker is nothing without their truck. Bingley regularly drives between Edmonton and Lac La Biche for work on his trusty steed “Rocky.”

Rocky is a Rocky Mountain Double, a B-train where the first trailer is longer than the rear trailer. Bingley hopes to enjoy the freedom of the road with Rocky until retirement. 

Until then, Bingley plans on learning more about trucking despite already being an expert. 

“You can always be learning. It doesn’t matter what you do. You are always going to be better at what you do when you keep learning,” he explained.

Example of a jack knifed truck where the tractor is almost parallel to the trailer
Example of a jackknifed truck where the tractor is almost parallel to the trailer | Nordean Law

Truckers Needed 

If you want to be a trucker, you are in luck. According to the Government of Canada, the next three years look good for aspiring transport truck drivers.  

Truckers headed toward retirement and continued labour shortages are expected to create plenty of jobs in the field. 

The provincial government has also pledged $30 million in commercial driving grants, including $10 million of annual funding over the next three years through the Driving Back to Work Program.

The program covers over 90 percent of the training and testing costs associated with obtaining a Class 1 license required to drive a transport truck. 

In 2022, commercial truckers accounted for over $3 billion of Alberta’s GDP. We have our province’s over 40,000 truckers, including Bingley, to thank for carrying Alberta’s economy.

The B-train Bingley drove to win the championship
The B-train Bingley drove to win the championship | Town and Country Today

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