North Carolina Construction News staff writer
About 100 state highway workers in Division 4 honed their skills operating heavy equipment at the Equipment Operator Training Conference at the Wilson County maintenance yard this week.
Participants navigated large trucks and other equipment including motor graders and cranes, through several obstacle courses that required deft precision. One of the competitions involved an operator who manipulated the arm and boom of a backhoe tractor to drop golf balls into a tube.
The annual event, informally is known as a “roadeo”, is meant to sharpen the employees’ driving skills in a controlled environment away from public traffic, so they can more safely operate the heavy machinery in real conditions throughout the year. They also compete among one another based on how they score doing each event.
The winners from each event will represent Division 4 at the statewide conference in Raleigh June 20-21:
- Lowboy Truck Exercise: Wayne Boone, Wayne Maintenance
- Single Axle Truck Exercise: Cliff Jenkins*, Wilson Maintenance
- Motor Grader Truck Exercise: Dan Evans, Nash Maintenance
- Tractor- Mower Exercise: Marvin Jones, Nash Maintenance
- Backhoe Exercise: Cliff Jenkins, Wilson Maintenance
- Tandem Axle Truck Exercise: Jackson Waddell, Wilson Maintenance
- Boom Truck (Crane) Exercise: James Holmes, Johnston Bridge
- Traffic Services Exercise: Wesley Johnson, Division 4 Traffic Services