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"Equipment Roadeo" in Washington, N.C. Tests the Skills of Seasoned Operators

Annual skill competition recognizes employees who safely operate heavy equipment

Greenville - Navigating a vehicle between rows of orange cones can be challenging even for a seasoned motorist. But imagine steering a truck and trailer weighing several tons between cones that are way too close for comfort while competing against other highly skilled drivers from eight counties.

The Department of Transportation is proud to announce the winners of the Division Two "Equipment Roadeo" held in Washington, Beaufort County on May 25 and 26. The annual event tests the safety awareness and skill level of NCDOT employees in Pitt, Beaufort, Pamlico, Carteret, Jones, Lenoir, Craven and Greene counties who operate heavy equipment.

The Division Equipment & Mechanic Roadeo contestants were competitive in their respective categories. They compete in categories such as Mechanic, Single Axle, Tandem Axle, Lowboy, Tractor Mower, Backhoe & Motor Grader events

The first place winners are:

Mechanic Exercise: Robert Coombs, New Bern Equipment.

Single Axle Truck Exercise: Jimmy Whaley, Lenoir County Bridge.

Tandem Axle Truck Exercise: Scotty Jones, Craven County Maintenance.

Lowboy Truck Exercise: Anthony Morton, Special Maintenance Operations.

Tractor Mower Exercise: Swindell Simmons, Jones County Maintenance.

Backhoe Exercise: Chris Bright, Beaufort County Maintenance.

Motor Grader Exercise: Kevin Whitaker, Beaufort County Maintenance.

"The dexterity and hand-eye coordination that goes into maneuvering such a large machine with surgical precision is beyond compare," said Garrick Witherspoon, Division 2 Safety Officer. "The ability to perform at this level in a competition mirrors real-life scenarios.

The 1st place Champion for all events will be representing Division 2 at the State Roadeo in Raleigh on July 12.

The overall goals of the "Equipment Roadeo" include helping NCDOT workers advance their skills, emphasizing the importance of safety when operating heavy equipment, fostering a sense of team spirit and recognizing employees who excel at their jobs.

***NCDOT***

2/19/2018 7:48 AM

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