’Operator of the Year’ Crowned at Fabick CAT Event

Sat August 27, 2005 - Midwest Edition

There was an additional buzz of excitement at the NASCAR Busch Series Race at Gateway International Raceway on July 30 as 30 finalists competed for the right to be called the Fabick CAT Operator of the Year.

The crowd was amazed at the speed and skill these operators demonstrated as they maneuvered the Cat skid steer loaders in three separate obstacle courses.

When the judges clicked the last stop watch, only seconds separated the top three winners. David Nishwitz led the group with a time of 2:08.38. Scott Braband placed second with 2:17.49 and Adam Schnaus took third place with 2:28.40.

Nishwitz, from Collinsville, IL, and employed by Dynegy, not only received a beautiful trophy and a skid steer loader scale model, but also won a free skid steer rental for an entire year. Braband, from Troy, MO, works for Schaeffermeyer Grading, and Schnaus, from Columbia, IL, works for Spiritas.

Fabick CAT hosted a series of six skills competitions from June 3 to July 15 focusing on its smallest piece of construction equipment, the Cat skid steer loader. The machine may be small in comparison with the other heavy duty equipment Fabick CAT sells, but the “Show Me” Cup Challenge was a huge event with more than 150 operators taking the challenge.

In the first course, operators were instructed to pick up an egg with a spoon attached to the end of the fork attachment and carefully place it in a can attached to a post.

The second skill involved picking up a large sheet of plywood with the fork attachment and placing it solidly into a metal frame.

And finally, in the last course, operators had to pick up a two by four balanced on a metal post with the fork attachment, carry it to another post and balance it there.

The qualifying competitions included a fourth obstacle –– large metal pins hanging by chains from a bucket attachment that had to be dropped down into tubes only slightly larger than the pins.

After each task was completed, the time was not stopped until the skid steer was backed into a square space lined by cones with the attachment placed on the ground. Time penalties were given for hitting cones and dropping the egg, plywood sheet or two by four.

The first Challenge was held at the Fabick CAT Herculaneum, MO, location, the company’s Compact Construction Equipment facility.

After that, events were held at various locations across the metro area including St. Louis Composting in Belleville, IL; Nu Way in South County; Home Nursery in O’Fallon, MO; Nu Way in Troy , IL; and the new Fabick Rents facility in Fenton, MO. At each competition, the five top operators qualified as finalists and were invited to compete for the grand prize at Gateway International Raceway.

Events also included free lunch for all who attended. KSHE 95 and spokesperson Katy Kruz attended all events, signing autographs and giving away prizes. During the qualifying rounds the operators also had the chance to demo equipment and brush up on their skills before competing in the challenge.

Fabick CAT, headquartered in Fenton, MO, is the authorized dealer of Caterpillar equipment, prime and stand-by power systems, parts and service, compact construction, rental and pipeline equipment in 99 counties in mid and southern Missouri and southern Illinois.

Other locations include Jefferson City, Columbia, Springfield, Joplin, West Plains, Herculaneum and Cape Girardeau, MO; and Salem and Marion, IL.

For more information, visit www.johnfabick.com.