DOBSON — Nearly 70 N.C. Department of Transportation employees from Division 11 — comprised of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin — recently participated in an annual safety and skills competition.
The employees tested the skills they use every day in the field against each other under the same conditions at Surry Community College in May at the Division 11 Roadeo.
Each of the six events are designed to show the driving, operating and safety skills necessary to perform their everyday tasks of improving safety and road conditions for North Carolina residents.
Truck drivers — single axle, tandem axle and a low-boy driver — made their way through a slalom course, parking drills and a safety check. Tractor mower operators weaved their way through a tight course. Backhoe operators scooped a golf ball from sand with a spoon attached to the bucket. And motorgrader drivers leveled their blade to tap tennis balls from a plastic tee.
“Each of our employees learn tips from everybody else that they can use every day,” Division 11 Safety Engineer Doug McConnell said. “This is one our most important and largest safety sessions of the year. The lessons learned this week will help our employees which will in turn help everybody who lives in Division 11.”
The top two in each of the six competitions received a plaque for their accomplishment. The winners advance to the state competition to be held in June in Raleigh.
The winners from Division 11:
- Single-Axle Dump Truck — Joey Wall, Surry Maintenance
- Tandem-Axle Dump Truck — Mike Essick, Watauga Maintenance
- Lowboy — James Sprinkle, Surry Maintenance
- Backhoe — Tony Cleary, Yadkin Maintenance
- Motorgrader — Kerry Mabe, Alleghany Maintenance
- Tractor-mower — Russell Wagoner, Wilkes Equipment