NCDOT’s Top Equipment Operators Place 4th Overall in Southeast Equipment Roadeo
RALEIGH — NCDOT equipment operators captured three top-three finishes in the individual competition and fourth place overall in the Southeast Regional Equipment Operator Roadeo held in Lexington, KY on Wednesday. The event is an annual competition held to recognize the skills and talents of state transportation department employees throughout the southeast United States who operate heavy equipment and vehicles.
The NCDOT’s 12-man team, which qualified for the event by finishing first or second in the state competition held in Raleigh in July, came in behind two-time defending champion Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.
The strong individual showings came from employees in NCDOT Division 12, which had captured the NCDOT team title. Lynn Dagenhart of the Alexander County maintenance office finished second in the lowboy truck competition. Chris Decimore, also from the Alexander County maintenance office, was third in the backhoe event. Preston Hefner of the Catawba County maintenance office finished third in single-axle dump truck. Division 12 covers Iredell, Alexander, Catawba, Lincoln, Gaston and Cleveland counties.
Competitors were judged on how well they performed specific tasks while operating the equipment, which also included motor graders, tandem axle dump trucks and tractor-mowers. The event focuses on the safe and skillful operation of equipment, while allowing each contestant to engage in friendly competition with operators from other states. It also helps boost morale among the contestants as co-workers and teammates cheer them on during the competition.
Other members of the NCDOT team included Brian Schmidt of the Person County office, Kevin Stutts of Moore County, Jarvis Blount of Cumberland County, Verlon Enloe of Cherokee County, Kevin Conner of Martin County, Josh Leatherman of Cleveland County, Chad Bradshaw of Rockingham County, Rocky Milsaps of Alexander County and Swindell Simmons of Jones County.
Other states at the event were Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia. Each state had two competitors per category.