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Illinois-Based Operator Advances in Caterpillar Challenge

Wed May 25, 2022 - Midwest Edition #11
CEG/Fabick Cat


Fabick Cat announced that Illinois-based operator Keith Hollenkamp of Gelly Excavating & Construction has won the first-round competition in the 2022/2023 Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge. With the win, Hollenkamp advances to the regional semi-final round of the competition, which will occur in Raleigh, N.C., in October.

The Global Operator Challenge overall aims to test the skills and precision of equipment operators as they prove their excellence in operating Cat machinery along with their ability to master any piece of heavy equipment safely and efficiently.

This first-round local event hosted by Fabick Cat included three different challenges with three separate pieces of equipment — the Fabick Cat Open with a 310 mini-excavator; the Tire Track Stack with a 289D3 compact track loader; and the Dozer 500 with a D2 dozer.

Challenging and robust, the group of operators who participated had to prove they had mastered a broad assortment of machines to qualify for the next round. In addition to Hollenkamp's impressive win that qualifies him to represent Gelly Excavating & Construction and Fabick Cat at the regional semi-finals, the dealership also recognized each individual event winner and the runner ups of the overall challenge with plaques during an awards ceremony.

John Fabick IV, president of Fabick Cat, spoke to the group as the awards were handed out.

"It's an honor to host so many experienced operators here today. Each and every one of you are winners in my book — you all made this a tremendous event," he said.

Following the regional semi-final competition in October, nine finalists will emerge from around the world and participate in the finals at the ConExpo-Con/AGG event in Las Vegas in March 2023. The winner of the finals will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two to one of Caterpillar's facilities worldwide.

About Fabick Cat

For more than 100 years, Fabick Cat has employed and served the hard-working men and women that improve the quality of life in the community. From Cat machines that help maintain infrastructure and support our farmers, to aerial lifts and emergency power generation, Fabick Cat supplies the essential products to help make progress possible.

As the Cat dealer of portions of Missouri, Illinois, the entire state of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Fabick Cat operates in 37 locations across the territory.

Members of the Fabick family's third, fourth and fifth generations are currently working together under the active leadership of Jeré Fabick, as chairman, CEO and dealer principal along with John Fabick IV serving as president.

For more information, visit FabickCat.com.

About Caterpillar

Caterpillar Inc. is one of the world's leading manufacturers of construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. For nearly 100 years, Caterpillar has been helping customers build a better, more sustainable world and is committed and contributing to a reduced-carbon future.

Caterpillar does business on every continent, principally operating through three primary segments — construction industries, resource industries and energy and transportation — and providing financing and related services through its financial products segment.

For more information, visit caterpillar.com.

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(L-R) are Jeré Fabick, chairman, CEO and dealer principal, Fabick Cat; Kelli Fabick, equipment management digital solutions manager, Fabick Cat; Josh Froese, winner of the Dozer 500 event; Shane Bakken, 4th place overall; Keith Hollenkamp, 1st place overall and winner of the Fabick Cat Open event; Wade Weinel, 3rd place overall; Travis Gillespie, 2nd place overall; Brandon Eggemeyer, winner of the Tire Track Stack event; and John Fabick IV, president, Fabick Cat.
(CEG photo)
Josh Froese of Baxmeyer Construction, in the cab of this Cat 308 excavator, tries his operating skills at the Fabick Cat Open.
(CEG photo)
Participating in the operator challenge are Josh Froese (L) and Allyn Sensel, both of Baxmeyer Construction in Waterloo, Ill.
(CEG photo)
Gary Zarbo of St. Louis competes in the Fabick Cat Open station with the Cat 308 excavator.
(CEG photo)
Travis Gillespie of Gillespie Excavating in Springfield, Mo., waits his turn to run the Cat 308 excavator.
(CEG photo)
Ralph Kelly Moran (L) of Galaxy Underground and Fabick Cat’s Brian Chinnici on the course of the Caterpillar Operator Challenge.
(CEG photo)
Mike Wallace (L) of Diestelkamp in the South County-St. Louis metro area and Shane Boyer of Fabick Cat discuss the different operating stations at the Caterpillar Operator Challenge.
(CEG photo)




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