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Dallas Employees Compete in Rodeo

Wed August 12, 2009 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

When the city of Dallas wanted to hold a heavy equipment rodeo for its streets employees to heighten safety awareness and increase productivity, a big question raised was how to pay for it in the midst of a budget crisis? Fortunately a local equipment distributor stepped forward to answer that question.

“We decided that a one-day heavy equipment rodeo event could enhance cross-training on multiple machines, strengthen safety education efforts and also include some competitive fun for our employees,” said Director of Streets Service Kelly High.

Planning and holding this event would require equipment to be delivered, instructors to teach about the proper and safe use of a particular piece of equipment and even judges.

Sol Gieser, territory manager of government sales of Kirby-Smith Machinery, learned of the event and stepped up to help. Gieser offered and provided the city of Dallas 15 Komatsu, Gradall and National Crane machines — at no cost. In addition, Kirby-Smith provided 16 volunteers who assisted with setting up the grounds, judging the contest and providing operation and safety instruction.

The rodeo drew approximately 300 city employees July 30 at Hensley Field in Dallas. Events included stacking boxes inside of each other using an XL3100 and 4100 Gradall excavator; bowling using a Komatsu WB156 backhoe, which sported a bowling ball attached to a bucket; playing basketball with a Komatsu PC138LC and PC160LC excavator; negotiating an obstacle course using a Komatsu SK820 skid steer; and golf-putting using a Komatsu WB146 backhoe. All events were judged on time, efficiency and safety.

Multiple city of Dallas departments also were on hand to not only watch the competition but to provide information for its employees on such topics as the Employee Retirement Fund and the city Credit Union. Representatives from Fair Housing, the Office of Environmental Quality, Stormwater, the 311 Call Center and Water and Sanitation were among the departments.

The rodeo was a success. “We feel the positive results from the rodeo in terms of training, camaraderie and teamwork, along with safety education, was well worth the effort,” said High. “ We greatly appreciate the generous contribution of equipment, time and people, as well as the barbecue lunch, provided by Kirby-Smith Machinery.”

Kirby-Smith Machinery is the newly authorized Komatsu, Wirtgen and Gradall dealer, with multiple allied products, for north and west Texas.

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