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Seville wins serpentine driving competition

July 24, 2000

Seville wins serpentine driving competition



By KERRI SACCHET / Staff Writer


It is a familiar scenario: A 28-foot tractor-trailer is making a right turn and you feel the truck inching closer and closer to your car. Just when you become stiff with fright, it passes and you let out a sigh of relief.

For Harvey Seville, winner of the D.M. Bowman Corporate Driving Championship, being trained to negotiate those tractor-trailer right turns not only keeps him safe every day, it won him a trophy and other prizes.

Seville, 54, has worked at the Bowman Distribution terminal for 12 years. On July 15, he competed in a seven-part obstacle course championship.

Seville, who won the individual division for his class of 10 years of employment and up, said he went on to the corporate level this year and won first place.

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"It caught me off guard. I didn't expect to win," Seville said.

Although he gets a lot of practice driving and maneuvering the vehicle on the road, Seville said the obstacle course was not easy.

"It was pretty tough," Seville said. "I do it for the challenge and to keep my skills up."

The course included the serpentine, in which drivers had to steer their rigs through a figure eight around orange cones, forward and backward, Seville said.

Drivers also had inspect their trucks in eight minutes or less and find problems that had been deliberately placed on the vehicles by the safety department, Seville said.

"They had wedged a cigarette lighter in between the grooves of my tire; one year at a competition they stuck a tennis ball in between the tires," Seville said.

Seville said to compete in the championship, participants must have clean driving records during their time on their current jobs.

Receiving his trophy and cash prize of $100 is not the only benefit of having 26 years of commercial driving experience, he said. Having his name printed on the door of his truck five years ago pleased him because one has to have three years of good driving to attain that privilege, Seville said.

Kerri Rawlings, corporate safety coordinator, said Seville's victory was positive for him and his division.

"It instills a lot of pride in his terminal that he won at the corporate level. When the drivers see his plaque up on the wall they feel very proud that he is a part of their division," Rawlings said.

The competition, in which many companies across the nation participate, helps drivers to focus their attention on safety, Rawlings said.

"It is very, very positive for the drivers. They practice and study up on the rules," Rawlings said.

Ten drivers from the distribution terminal took part in the competition this year, and Rawlings said she was pleased with the turnout.

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