ITD equipment operators mount up for annual roadeos

ITD cowboys, disguised as heavy equipment operators, began returning to the roadeo grounds for barrel racing and other skill events. But there are no bulls, or horses, or steers. Not even a clown.

The roadeo circuit – one event in each of the six districts – brings operators together for driving competition, including frontend loaders and motor grader and trouble-shooting (diagnostics) tests.

At stake is a berth in the state roadeo final and, for the top two statewide placers, a trip to the national finals in Estes Park, Colo. this fall.

Pete McGuire (District 4) and Bruce Dial (District 5) represented ITD at the national event last year. It was an encore performance for McGuire and an introductory trip for Dial.

They combined to finish fourth out of 26 teams competing in the team-driving event for tandem-axle trucks. One driver completes the first half of a course and then passes the controls over to his teammate for the final half of the circuit. They also finished seventh in the single-axle team-driving event.

McGuire was 13th in the frontend loader event out of 38 competitors and 15th in the motor grader driving competition out of a field of 25. Dial was 15th and 18th, respectively.

“This (motor grader) event is extremely hard because ITD employees do not operate motor graders as often as county employees who blade hundreds of miles of dirt roads every year,” explained Rex Hufford, who organizes Idaho’s roadeos and accompanies finalists to Colorado. “Their scores are very good for the motor grader event.”

Both will attempt to earn repeat trips during the ITD roadeo circuit that began Wednesday (May 18) with the District 6 event at the Dubois maintenance facility.

The remainder of the schedule is:

  • District 5: Tuesday, May 24, Pocatello, main yard
  • District 4: Thursday, May 26, Twin Falls maintenance shed
  • District 3: Wednesday, June 1, Garden Valley gravel pit
  • District 2: Tuesday, June 7, Dworshak Dam, Orofino
  • District 1: Thursday, June 9, Athol gravel pit, U.S. 95
  • State finals: District 1, Tuesday, June 14, Athol
  • National finals: 2011 Western Snow & Ice Show, Sept. 27-30, Estes Park, Colo.

Published 5-20-2011