Truck rodeo a virtual roundup of skills
When the snow stops flying and ITD trucks shed their plows, operators put their driving skills on the line in friendly competition. They affectionately refer to the contests as roadeos. And the best of the best advance to national competition to test their skills against representatives of other states.
Fresh from a snow season that afforded ample opportunity for practice, operators are ready to embark on the 2004 roadeo schedule. Competition began Thursday (May 20) in District 2. The remainder of the district competition schedule is:
First and second place contestants will win an opportunity to represent ITD at the 2004 Snow and Ice Conference to be held in Denver, Colorado September 28-30.
Most of last years district champions will return to defend their titles. Winners from 2003 are:
Freeman, from the Council Maintenance section, won the state competition while Davis, from Cascade, claimed second. They advanced to the 2003 National Snow and Ice Conference in Greeley, Colo. It was Freemans first trip to nationals and Daviss second. The latter also represented Idaho at the 2002 national event in Denver.
The roadeo at the National Snow and Ice Conference is extremely competitive consisting of written exams, multiple equipment inspections, challenging obstacle courses and a multitude of skilled operators, explains Rex Hufford. To win is a difficult accomplishment.
Freeman and Davis competed in all of the events at the national contest.
Davis was eighth out of 37 competitors in the motor grader event, even though ITD does not include it in the state skills competitions. Unfortunately, Freeman was disqualified because he exceeded the course time limit by three seconds.
He went on to place eighth in loader competition while his Idaho colleague finished 13 out of a pool of 47 contestants. Two representatives from the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) placed 41st and 42nd.
In the single-axle truck event, the Freeman/Davis team placed eighth out of 41 contestants. They were 12th out of 33 competitors in the tandem-axle event. ACHDs drivers placed 21st.
The driving team representing ACHD placed 21st in the Tandem Axle competition. Along with participating in the Snow and Ice Conference and competing in the roadeo events, Freeman and Davis found time to tour the famous Estes Park area, which is well known for the historic Stanley Hotel and the local roaming elk herds.
In the past five years, George Schutes and Marc Johnson of District 1, Mark Schuster of District 2, Jarret Porter and Dave Steen of District 4 also represented ITD at the National Snow and Ice Conference.
With this kind of competition, 2004 is shaping up to be another exciting year of roadeo competition throughout all the districts, Hufford said.