Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
Will Merritt 540-829-7370
June 22, 2015
VDOT OPERATORS SHOW OFF SKILLS AT EQUIPMENT ROADEO
Five will represent district at Aug. 6 statewide competition
From left, Culpeper District Engineer John Lynch; RoadEO winners Mike Smith, Rappahannock AHQ; Tony Cooke, Madison AHQ; Steven Dominick Jr., District Equipment Shop; Terry Rought Jr., District Equipment Shop; and C.W. Blosser Jr., Rappahannock AHQ; and VDOT Deputy Commissioner Quintin Elliott.
CULPEPER — Five employees from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District earned championship trophies at the annual equipment operators’ competition on June 3 and 4.
The event, known as the RoadEO, began in 1988 and is held annually to encourage VDOT equipment operators to maintain their awareness of safety and improve their skills in operating equipment used in their daily work. The event features skills contests on the backhoe, motor grader, tractor with mower and dump truck.
In each event the operators must maneuver around a course or perform tasks that require a high degree of expertise and control. For example, on the motor grader, operators must use the blade to knock tennis balls off tees positioned at varying heights. The dump-truck competitions use an obstacle course with multiple skills stations, including parallel parking and serpentine backing through construction barrels.
To qualify for the competition each operator must complete the required daily safety check of their equipment, which is also timed and scored by judges.
Culpeper District Engineer John Lynch said, “The RoadEO is a VDOT tradition that uses friendly competition to put safety at the forefront as well as sharpen our employees’ skills. Ultimately, it is those skills we rely on to provide critical services during snow and other weather events and emergencies.”
This year 126 equipment operators took part in at least one of the five events at Culpeper District’s RoadEO. 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: Terry Rought Jr., Equipment Repair Technician, Culpeper District Shop. Rought lives in Locust Grove and has worked for VDOT for three years.
Tandem-axle dump truck: Tony Cooke, Transportation Operator, Madison Area Headquarters. Cooke lives in Aroda; he has worked for VDOT for three years.
Backhoe: C.W. Blosser Jr., Transportation Operator, Rappahannock Area Headquarters. Blosser is a 21-year VDOT veteran and lives in Luray.
Motor grader: Steven Dominick Jr., Equipment Repair Technician, Culpeper District Shop. The Locust Grove resident has worked for VDOT for four years.
Tractor mower: Mike Smith, Transportation Operator, Rappahannock Area Headquarters. The Washington, Va. resident has worked for VDOT for four years.
These five will advance to represent Culpeper District in VDOT’s state RoadEO on Aug. 6 at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds. Statewide winners will move on to a regional competition against operators from ten other states, to be held in Myrtle Beach in September. Last year, Virginia’s team placed third overall.
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