The final Philadelphia Construction Expo to be held at the Fort Washington Expo Center on March 7 and 8 came down to a photo finish.
While exhibitors and iron shoppers were wrapping up their last minute deals, Mark Olson of M.P. Olson of Suffern, NY, and Jim Stredny of Rencor Inc. of Whitehouse, NJ, were battling it out in overtime for backhoe operating supremacy.
Tied after two days of competition the two contestants were assigned to a New Holland LB75. B in which both gave it their last best shot at the “Basketball in the Bin” event. Stredny beat out Olson to the take the crown as well as an extra $1,000 in prize money. (Each contestant earned $750 for his first-place finish on day-one and day-two.)
Stredny and Olson are ringers in a sense as they have competed in several Philadelphia Construction Expo backhoe rodeo events over the past six years. Both also have won in the past. Stredny’s backhoe operating expertise in rodeos can be traced back to the early 1990s when he competed in two national Case rodeos in which he placed fifth and ninth, consecutively.
The backhoe rodeo consisted of five events: the Pipe Drop, Backhoe Basketball, Softball, Egg in the Nest and Basketball in the Bin. A maximum of 150 seconds was allowed for each event with the contestant achieving the lowest total accumulated score for each day of competition being declared the winner. Olson won the first day’s competition, while Stredny won on the second day. Both then competed head-to-head in all five events and finished tied at 412 seconds. Stredny eventually bested Olson by a few seconds in overtime.
The expo itself was just as exciting. Thousands of guests and hundreds of exhibitors kept the aisles of the Fort Washington Expo center buzzing with activity. Many exhibitors reported numerous sales leads.
During the expo, many visitors also attended seminars held by Asphalt Care Equipment, Pennsylvania One Call and Norris Sales.
Among the many who won door prizes over the course of the show, two took home grand prizes — Joe MacCready, of Mac Machine, Glenolden, PA, won two NASCAR tickets donated by Construction Equipment Guide, and Charles F. Haas, of Haas Excavating Inc., Emmaus, PA, won a 42-in. root grapple donated by CID Metals.
This year’s show also marked the last year the Philadelphia Construction Expo will be held in Fort Washington; the building is slated to be converted into office space later this year. CEG Productions currently is busy scouting out new venues for next year’s show and we will announce the new location in an upcoming issue of Construction Equipment Guide.
We look forward to seeing all of you again next year!