Eight of South Carolina’s best heavy equipment operators are preparing to show their skills at the final round of the state chapter’s American Public Works Association backhoe rodeo July 12.
The winners of seven regional competitions, plus last year’s winner, Darrian Perry of the city of Lancaster, will meet in Myrtle Beach to see who is the best in the state.
The competitors this year are using Case 580 Super M loader backhoes supplied by Briggs Equipment.
Mike Teague, the project coordinator for Spartanburg County roads and bridge and this year’s rodeo chairman, said an average of 15 people competed at each regional competition.
Teague has been impressed with the talent he’s seen during the time he has been involved with the rodeo.
“They’re good. They’re the best of the best,” he said.
While the top-notch operators are out to win, Teague said they root for one another, too, and the competitions are always good-natured.
The events at some of the regional competitions included the “nerve cracker,” in which the operators had to place colored balls in the matching tubes; the “obstacle course,” in which they guided a ring around PVC pipe; and “son of nerve cracker,” which involved spinning a wheel with a magnet. There is a three-minute time limit for each event.
Teague said organizers are still deciding which events will be in the final round, but they usually try to throw something new in to challenge the participants.
The rodeo is in its 21st year. CEG Staff