In a competition where being close (without contact) means everything, a slim 37-point margin separated first and second place in the annual ITD truck roadeo held at the Athol Maintenance gravel site north of Coeur d’Alene.
When the dust (or rain) settled, Marc Johnson of Coeur d’Alene’s South and East Maintenance Section claimed his first state championship, scoring 3,375 points.
Dan Davis, from the Cascade Maintenance Section in District 3, found himself in familiar territory, finishing as runner-up for the third time. He also was second in 2002 and again the following year. As a second-place finisher in state competition, Davis advanced to the national APWA (American Public Works Association) Snow & Ice Conference roadeo finals in Denver and Estes Park, Colo.
Johnson took second place at the state competition in 1999 and competed in the national finals in Greeley, Colo.
Robin Freeman, who also is a regular in the battle for first at the state contest, took third this year with 3,298 points. He won the state title in 2003.
Rounding out the top 10 this year were:
The top three finishers at district roadeos along with the top foreman from each district advanced to the state competition held in June. In all, 183 ITD workers competed for the chance to advance to state and eventually national finals.
Only 77 points separated the top three spots at the state competition, and just 330 separated first and 10th place.
Final scores reflected an average of two rounds through the truck driving and loader operator courses, a truck inspection and a written exam. Participants were given 10 minutes to find five “planted” defects in the truck inspection category and 10 minutes to answer 10 multiple-choice questions.
The 2005 national competition is scheduled for Sept. 27-30 at the annual APWA Western Snow & Ice Conference in Estes Park, Colo. The top two state finishers advance to the national finals.“The roadeo had extremely good participation this year,” said organizer Rex Hufford of Headquarters. “As usual, we had to contend with a variety of weather conditions. The food was fantastic.”
Nearly 200 people judged or watched the state roadeo. Hufford said he wanted to recognize and thank individuals who contributed their time and effort to organize and stage the roadeo:
• “To everyone who came out and judged. Without
judges, it’s difficult to have a roadeo and with rain, wind, and
thunder it’s sometimes hard being a judge. Thank you for being
a judge and supporting your district’s contestants.
Participants at the state roadeo finals
2004 State competition
2003 State competition
• ITD placed 8th & 13th in loaders out of 47 contestants
2001 State competition
Photos: A dump truck equipped with a snow plow maneuvered through an obstacle course to simulate the precision needed for snow plowing (top); a loader operator's skill is challenged by driving over moguls without losing a basketball balanced on the front (bottom).