Division 4 Wins Top Honor In NCDOT ‘Roadeo’ Championship

NC DOT Safety Engineer Mike Miller judges a backhoe event on Thursday. The backhoe operators had to place golf balls into a tube under a time limit. NC DOT Photo

The NC DOT Division 4, which covers communities east of Raleigh, took home Thursday the top team honors in the NC Department of Transportation’s annual safety event championship.

The Equipment Operators Safety Training Conference and “Roadeo” at the N.C. State Fairgrounds promotes employee training and safety. Division 4 employees placed well enough to earn for their team first place overall winner for the second year in a row.

The highway division serves Johnston, Nash, Wayne, Wilson, Edgecombe and Halifax counties.

“Winning first place is a wonderful achievement for the hard-working employees of Division 4,” said Debroah Leonard, the Division 4 safety engineer. “Our heavy equipment operators take their training seriously, and safety is our top priority in everything that we do. We are thrilled to be recognized at the state level.”

These four Division 4 employees won honors at the event:

  • Low-boy trailer: Wayne Boone, heavy operations for the entire Wilson-based division, 1st place
  • Motor grader: Daniel Evans, Nash maintenance, 1st place.
  • Backhoe: Cliff Jenkins, Wilson maintenance, 2nd place
  • Double axle truck: Kyle Sanders, Johnston maintenance, 2nd place

Competitors are judged for their skills and dexterity at maneuvering heavy equipment such as dump trucks and tractor backhoes through tight obstacle courses. The competition mirrors the situations heavy equipment operators face on the job regularly. New this year was a crane maneuverability event.

The statewide competition marked the final leg of a journey that began with competitions held in each of the 14 divisions that comprise the NC DOT. The winners of each event went on to compete in Raleigh, with an all-time high of 92 participants from nearly 60 counties.

A total of 14 NC DOT employees won first or second place honors, and they will travel to the regionals Sept. 17-19 in Biloxi, Miss.