Cemex Arizona ace takes National Mixer Driver Championship

A delivery professional based at the Cemex plant in Marana, Ariz., Thomas Comeau won the 2018 National Mixer Truck Driver Championship, staged during the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association ConcreteWorks fall conference in National Harbor, Md. He received a $5,000 check from the Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau, NRMCA affiliate, after prevailing among a field of 80 peers who negotiated an eight-station driving course; six-point vehicle inspection, operating or related skills challenge; and, written exam.

Championship leaders and their 75 peers were honored during a banquet at the ConcreteWorks venue, Gaylord National Harbor Resort. Joining top gun Thomas Comeau of Cemex (left) are, from second to fifth place: Howlin Concrete’s Russell Walton, Prairie Materials’ John Marzalik, Smokey Point Concrete’s Thomas Curley, and MMC Materials’ Brian Risher. PHOTOS: Concrete Products

The Driver Course and Ability Challenge stations were set up adjacent to the Gaylord National Harbor Resort.
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Drivers could choose rear or front discharge mixers for the Course Challenge. The Ability Challenges were split between rear discharge (Bowling) and front discharge trucks (Chute a Hoop, Break an Egg).
Delivery Ticket and Visual Vehicle Inspections are part of the National Mixer Driver Championship Ability Challenges.

Comeau arrived at Cemex in 2014 from the Pima County Sheriff’s Office. Along with the career change, he committed himself to the company’s safety program, helping other drivers whenever possible. In Cemex competitions, he has earned the title of best driver in Arizona for the last three years, allowing him to compete in the National Mixer Driver Championship.

Rounding out this year’s Championship leaders, from second to fifth place, were: Russell Walton of Howlin Concrete, Owings, Md., $2,000 TMMB cash prize; John Marzalik of Prairie Materials, Chicago, $1,000; Thomas Curley of Smokey Point Concrete, Arlington, Wash., $600; and, Brian Risher of MMC Materials Inc., Forest, Miss., $400.

The NRMCA Safety, Operations & Environmental Committee opens the Championship to the winners of state or regional mixer driving challenges, or those taking producer member driving competitions. Now in its 12th year, the event spans three competitions: 1) Driving Course Challenges, with stations titled Tightest Turn, Tennis Ball Drive-Through, Parallel Park, Forward Stop, On Target, Rear-Wheel Back-through, Scale Box and Backing Stop; 2) Driver Ability Challenges, with Walk Around, Visual Vehicle and Delivery Ticket Inspection, Chute a Hoop, Break an Egg, Bowling, and Reaction Time Test stations; and, 3) a two-hour, multiple choice exam based on NRMCA Truck Mixer Driver Manual.

The National Mixer Driver Championship has become the anchoring event within NRMCA’s fall ConcreteWorks gathering. ConcreteWorks 2019 is scheduled for October 5-7 at the Gaylord Palms Resort, Kissimmee, Fla.