Lou Hatter 434-529-6314
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
July 31, 2012
VDOT OPERATORS SHINE IN EQUIPMENT COMPETITION
Five will represent district in statewide skills assessment; Conners wins Virginia low-boy event
CULPEPER — Five employees from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District will represent the district in the statewide equipment operators’ competition in Richmond next month. Culpeper District’s Larry Conners also won the state competition for low-boy tractor-trailer operators.
The event, known as the RoadEO, is held each year to encourage VDOT’s equipment operators to maintain their awareness of safety and improve their skills in operating the equipment they use in their daily work. The events feature skill competitions using dump trucks, backhoes, tractor mowers and motor graders.
In each event the operators must maneuver around a course or perform tasks that require a high degree of skill and control of the equipment. For example, the backhoe operators must lift a concrete cylinder using one tine of the bucket and place the cylinder at a specific spot on a 4-inch-wide beam. The mower and truck competitions use a narrow course with multiple skill stations, including one where the operator must back the equipment to a stop against a barricade, getting as close as possible without touching the wall.
To qualify for the competition each operator must complete the required daily safety check of their equipment; that safety check is also scored by judges.
Culpeper District Administrator Jim Utterback said of the operators, “It is amazing to watch what they can do. These competitions are a testament to the extraordinary skills of the operators we have here in the district. They may take these skills for granted because they do it every day, but really, it is remarkable to watch.”
Almost 100 district equipment operators took part in at least one of the five events. Each operator was scored for his ability to complete the tasks as well as the time required. The district winners in each competition, with their work unit, were:
Single-axle dump truck: Dale Brown, Superintendent, Cuckoo Area Headquarters. Brown lives in Louisa and has worked for VDOT for 26 years.
Tandem-axle dump truck: Anthony Berry, Transportation Operator, Warrenton Residency sign crew. Berry is a 22-year VDOT veteran and lives in Brightwood.
Backhoe: C.W. Blosser, Transportation Operator, Rappahannock Area Headquarters. Blosser has worked for VDOT for 18 years and lives in Flint Hill.
Motor grader: Kevin Stringfellow, Transportation Operator, Warrenton Area Headquarters. Stringfellow lives in Amissville; he has worked for VDOT for 11 years.
Tractor mower: Steven Dominick Jr., Equipment Repair Technician, Culpeper District Shop. The Locust Grove resident has worked for VDOT for one and a half years.
Larry Conners, who won the Virginia state competition for low-boy drivers, is a Transportation Operator in the Culpeper District Equipment Shop. The low-boy is a specialized flat-bed tractor-trailer used to transport off-road equipment and retrieve equipment for repairs. Conners, who lives in Woodville and has worked at VDOT for 28 years, will represent Virginia in the regional equipment operators’ competition in August.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.