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Wisconsin Lift Truck Co-Hosts MWFPA Forklift Rodeo

Wisconsin Lift Truck proudly co-hosted our second Midwest Food Processors Association forklift rodeo, held during the organization’s annual convention December1st-3rd.  Pat Ryan (Fleet) co-hosted the event, partnering with Corey Badtke of Seneca Foods, assisted by Dan Raymond (SR-W Sales), Jake Egmose (Fleet), Tony Parsons (Training), Kristin Lelewicz (Mktg), Melissa Johnson (Mktg), and Shanna Plenke (Mktg). The event was held at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay with over 140 exhibit booths of vendors specifically tailored to the food manufacturing industry.

The returning rodeo competition drew a decent crowd. Many gathered around to cheer on the group of forklift drivers representing Seneca Foods, Del Monte Foods, Bush Brothers and Lakeside Foods competing for the title of forklift rodeo champion.

The competition began with the challenge of maneuvering a CAT EC25N2 lift truck through an obstacle course with a pallet holding a cone and tennis ball. They then had to go through the course again in reverse without dropping the ball. Changing trucks to a Doosan B20T-7, then continuing onto the rest of the course which included; stacking and unstacking pallets, loading/unloading a railcar & the final obstacle was two chances at bowling a bowling ball off the forks of the truck.

Aside from the fun, a practical purpose was served by operators demonstrating the need for skill, safety and work pacing. Judges stood by with clip boards and timers.  Each contestant’s time had 30 seconds added to it for every demerit given for errors. The driver with the shortest amount of time won, demonstrating that safety and accuracy was more effective than just the speed of the course.

A big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to the forklift rodeo champion: Kurt Selle from Seneca Foods.  He completed the course with the best time of 15:26, winning the grand prize trophy and rodeo belt buckle along with $300 cash, miniature CAT forklift, and gift bag full of Wisconsin Lift Truck goodies.  A close 2nd place was snatched away by Jeff Papke of Seneca Foods –with a time of 16:47. He took away $175 cash and a miniature CAT forklift.

Our returning forklift rodeo champion, Telesforo Guerra Jr., from Del Monte Foods – Mendota location, came in with a time of 16:58 obtaining 3rd place in the rodeo, still sporting a customized Del Monte forklift rodeo shirt. He walked away with $100 cash and a miniature CAT forklift. The course proved to be tough, but these guys did an outstanding job! We’re looking forward to seeing who will win next year’s Rodeo challenge!