Michelle Earl 276-669-9999
July 18, 2008
VDOT's Wise Residency tests snowfighting skills in July
GLAMORGAN, Va. – Although the weather was sunny, employees from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Wise Residency were out testing their snow fighting skills.
VDOT’s Snowfighter’s Event is held each summer to test drivers’ skills before the winter snow season begins. About forty equipment operators from the Wise Residency participated in five different events, which are similar to the events used at the National Snowfighter’s Event being held September 30 – October 2 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
In this year’s single axle truck competition, the winner was Jack Laney, crew member for the Coeburn Area Headquarters. Second place went to Danny Miller, member of Wise Residency sign crew, and third place went to Arthur Peters, crew member for the Glamorgan Area Headquarters.
The single axle truck competition gives employees an opportunity to test their job skills in situations similar to those encountered on the road. Operators drive a three-ton dump truck, equipped with an 11-foot snow plow, through a series of obstacle courses simulating such maneuvers as plowing snow away from fixed objects, parallel parking, braking to a stop, mirror backing and backing to a loading dock.
First place in the backhoe competition went to John Courtney, member of the Wise Bridge Crew. Second place in the backhoe competition went to Billy Gibson, East Stone Gap Area Headquarters Supervisor, and third place in the event went to Elmer Jones, Wise Residency bridge crew member.
In the backhoe competition operators use a standard tractor equipped with an excavator, referred to as the "bucket," equipped with an object that is used to place golf balls into buckets ranging from standard size to small. The competition demonstrates operators’ abilities to control the excavator.
For the second year, first place in the tandem went to Harmon Kilgore, Wise Residency Maintenance Manager. Second place was awarded to Rick Dotson, crew member at the Fremont Area Headquarters, and third place was awarded to Barney Deel, Transportation Operator III for the Fremont Area Headquarters.
The tandem truck event uses a driving course similar to the single axle truck competition. A tandem truck is a larger vehicle, weighing between 5 and 7 tons.
Two new categories were added to this year’s event, the mower tractor and the motor grader.
First place in the mower tractor event went to Ernie Winebarger, crew member for the Fremont Area Headquarters. Second place was awarded to Courtney and third place was awarded to Randall Rose, crew member for the East Stone Gap Area Headquarters.
In the mower tractor event, drivers maneuver through a twisting and turning course to test driving and backing skills.
In the motor grader event, first place went to Jackie Boyd, crew member for the Fremont Area Headquarters. Second place was awarded to Gibson and third place was awarded to Johnny Ramey, crew member for the Glamorgan Area Headquarters.
The motor grader event tests operators’ control of the grader blade. Drivers knock tennis balls off pedestals with the grader blade without knocking down the pedestal itself.
Each first and second place winner will compete in the district truck competition in Bristol in August.
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