MDOT Ropes In Herds of Contestants for Equipment Roadeo

Fri June 13, 2003 - Southeast Edition
Maybelle G. Cagle

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) saluted National Transportation Week by holding its State Roadeo Competition at the fairgrounds in Jackson and for the third consecutive year, District 1, Tupelo won.

This marked the sixth year for the Roadeo, which included six categories. They were: lowboy truck and trailer, single-axle dump truck with utility trailer, backhoe, tandem axle dump truck, tractor bushhog and motorgrader.

Although National Transportation Week was celebrated May 11 to 17, MDOT held the Roadeo May 28.

“In the Roadeo, MDOT’s heavy-equipment operators compete against one another for state championship titles. The competition promotes skill advancement as well as boosts the morale of the operators,” said MDOT Executive Director Larry Brown.

MDOT has six districts in Mississippi. They include: District 1, Tupelo; District 2, Batesville; District 3, Yazoo City; District 5, Newton; District 6, Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast and District 7, McComb. There is no District 4.

Each district held a regional Roadeo and sent its finalists to the state competition. The winning team received a traveling gold cup with a plaque and was recognized at the Roadeo. Individual winners also were recognized.

To win the team championship, districts could score a maximum of 60 points, totaled from all of the competitions. District 1 received 54 points, District 2 earned 47 points and District 6 scored 45 points. This marks the third year Tupelo has won the championship.

Several categories are ties for the various places. Categories and first, second and third place winners are as follows:

• Lowboy trucks (250 points possible), William Francis, District 1 (230 points); Mims Gregory, District 5, (215 points); Alfreddie Hearvey, District 2, (210 points).

• Single-axle dump truck: Raymond Johnson, District 7, (225 points); Tracy Woods, District 6, (220 points) and Oren Mink, District 1, (220 points).

• Tandem-axle dump truck: Robert Caines, District 6, (245 points); Scott Horton, District 5, (220 points) and Willie Butler, District 2, (220 points).

• Backhoe (300 points possible), Mark Austin, District 2, (300 points); Mike Pearson, District 1, (300 points) and Kevin Ellis, District 3, (300 points).

• Motorgrader (300 points possible), Oren Mink, District 1, (290 points); Jerry Ellett, District 2, (290 points) and Howard Joe Smith, District 7, (280 points).

• Tractor/bushhog (300 points possible), Joey Hood, District 1, (235 points); Vincent Necaise, District 6, (230 points) and Sylvestor Pinkins, District 3, (230 points).