Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Lift Truck proudly hosted a forklift rodeo challenge at the PFMA’s Plant Engineering and Maintenance Expo March 12th, partnering with Steel King Industries and Storage Battery Systems. The event was held at the Wisconsin Expo Center at State Fair Park with 4,800 Plant Engineers & Maintenance Managers in attendance looking to source solutions to improve the safety and efficiencies of their facilities.
The forklift rodeo challenge was a newly added event this year. Fourteen highly skilled forklift drivers representing companies such as; Arandell Corporation, Gaco Western, Color Ink, Wildeck Inc., Warehouse Specialists Inc., Prop Shaft Supply, Osmose Inc., Hot Water Products, etc. competed for the title of forklift rodeo champion.
Stage one of the competition began with slaloming an electric Mitsubishi FB16NT lift truck through an obstacle course with a pallet holding a cone and tennis ball. Other challenges in the course included a high-stack challenge as well as attempting to balance a pallet on top four cones. Stage two of the course required drivers to use an electric Linde E25PL for the crowd-favorite basketball challenge. Drivers had to pick up basketballs with just the forks and shoot baskets into two different sized containers.
Each operator demonstrated a high-level of skill in safety and precision on the lifts, while judges stood by with timers and score sheets. Each contestant’s time had 30 seconds added to it for any infraction. The driver with the shortest amount of time won, demonstrating that safety and accuracy was more effective than the speed of the course.
We want to give a big congratulations to the forklift rodeo champion: Bill Krivoshein from Arandell Corporation. He completed the course with the best time of 7:05, winning the grand prize of $500 cash and the rodeo champion plaque. This was Bill’s first time participating in a forklift rodeo, but to the crowd he looked like a course expert. Second place was won by Mark Karpinen of Osmose Inc. with a time of 7:23, winning a $100 gift card. Jason Wick of Color Ink came within seconds of Mark, taking third place and winning a $50 gift card with his time of 7:27.
“Driving a forklift may look easy, but driving one safely in a fast-pasted operation requires the right training and expertise.” “The rodeo proved to be an excellent opportunity for drivers to showcase that expertise and bring focus to the importance of forklift safety and the material handling industry itself.”, said David Hermann, Safety Director of Wisconsin Lift Truck.
Thank you to all the forklift drivers for their participation and those of you that came to watch. Wisconsin Lift Truck and the Wolter Group hope you enjoyed this year’s rodeo challenge. We hope to see you all back to compete next year.
Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp. (www.wisconsinlift.com) is part of the material handling arm of the Wolter Group, which also includes Illinois Material Handling. The Wolter Group delivers superior service to over 15,000 customers in its three-state service area. The cornerstone of Wolter Group’s success is its highly trained staff of over 330 employees with an average tenure of 16 years of service.