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Division 14 Safety Conference Includes Competition


CLYDE – More than 100 N.C. Department of Transportation employees from the 10 westernmost counties blended competition, camaraderie and safety during a two-day conference at the Haywood County Maintenance yard earlier this week.

Training sessions centered on pretrip process, safe equipment operation and expanding on existing skills. The camaraderie centered around seeing other employees from across Division 14 to share success stories from maintenance work of the last year, as well as casual conversations about families and fishing.

“Few other annual events bring so many folks together to learn and share,” Division 14 Engineer Wanda Payne said. “The competition can be fierce for a few minutes, however the bragging rights last longer. 
“But most importantly, the skills mastery and safety lessons applied can save lives.”

Employees from the 10 counties — Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, Swain and Transylvania — competed on one of eight pieces of heavy equipment that they use daily to build and maintain roads and highways in far western North Carolina. 

Specialized training sessions included a slip-trip-and-fall simulation, and a heavy truck-driving computer simulator that puts drivers in predicaments they may encounter during in their career without the dangers of being in a truck. 

The following winners earned a trip to Raleigh to compete for a state championship later this summer:

  • Tandem-Axle Dump Truck: Greg Wright, Jackson County Maintenance
  • Lowboy Trailer: Alan Cochran, Macon County Bridge
  • Backhoe: Justin Derreberry Cherokee Maintenance
  • Tractor Mower: Nick Redmond, Henderson County Maintenance
  • Truck Crane: Larry Flowers, Cherokee County Bridge
  • Single-Axle Dump Truck: Bobby Sanders, Macon County Maintenance
  • Motorgrader: Travis Johnson, Haywood County Maintenance
  • Skid-steer: Caleb Henry, Haywood County Maintenance


4/26/2024 4:11 PM