Some of the most skilled workers in the Southeast are maintaining Tennessee roadways. TDOT’s field maintenance personnel took home top prize in the 2008 Southeast Regional Equipment Operators Roadeo Oct. 2.
Tennessee’s maintenance personnel from across the state bested competitors from Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia and North Carolina in six skill and safety events that showcase their ability to maneuver heavy equipment through a series of obstacles and precision challenges. Competition events included backhoe, motorgrader, tractor mower, equipment hauler and single and tandem axle dump trucks.
“Everyone at TDOT is extremely proud of our team and it reflects the pride and skill our employees have for their jobs,” said TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges. “Our maintenance forces are the backbone of the department and they work hard making our roadways better and safer every day.”
The 2008 Southeast Regional Equipment Operators Roadeo was held in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. This was the first time Tennessee has hosted the event. TDOT held off defending 2007 winner Mississippi and four-time champion Arkansas to bring home Tennessee’s first maintenance roadeo trophy. It was the third time Tennessee has competed in the event.
“TDOT maintenance personnel operate heavy equipment very close to utility lines and even private property and it’s imperative that our operators can handle the equipment safely and with precision,” said TDOT Maintenance Director Greg Duncan. “The statewide and southeast roadeos are a good test for our maintenance personnel.”
Individual event winners include:
• Wayne Davis, Tennessee, backhoe
• Johnny Allred, Tennessee, single axle dump truck
• Billy Smartt, Tennessee, equipment hauler
• Richard Stroble, South Carolina, tractor mower
• Scott Horton, Mississippi, tandem axle dump truck
• Jerry Ellett, Mississippi, motorgrader.