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Recap: First Ever Virtual Reality Forklift Rodeo

Have you ever heard of a Forklift Rodeo? Better yet, a Virtual Reality Forklift Rodeo? Well, you’re about to.

December 4th, 2019 marks the day of the first-ever Virtual Reality Forklift Rodeo, hosted by Wisconsin Lift Truck and members of the Midwest Food Products Association had been placed into a virtual warehouse environment and tasked with completing a variety of timed exercises.

Though the goal was to complete the courses with the fewest safety infractions, time was the tiebreaker forcing the forklift drivers to be precise while still focusing on accuracy and safety, especially with the VR Forklift Rodeo Champion title on the line.

This year’s participants included 11 employees from companies such as Seneca Foods, Bush Brothers & Co., Chippewa Valley Bean, Bonduelle, Agrian, and Ocean Spray Cranberries. 

Each driver began with practice rounds lead by Wisconsin Lift Truck’s Operator Training Manager, Tony Parsons, as well as Bush Brother’s Lead Forklift Trainer, Jason Atter, to be acclimated on the simulator controls and virtual warehouse.

Drivers were scored on how accurately they were able to set pallets onto racking and drive through a cone obstacle course without knocking them over. Drivers had to keep control of the forklift and forks in the correct position at all times.

At the end of the day, the Wisconsin Lift Truck team and members of the MWFPA were proud to award the first-place winner, Kelsey Lee of Bush Brothers & Co. the coveted rodeo belt buckle, trophy and $100 cash prize.

Closely following, runner up, Dylan Harvey of Chippewa Valley Bean, was awarded the 2nd place trophy with a $75 cash prize, and 3rd place winner, Nick Isken of Seneca Foods prized $50 cash.

The Wisconsin Lift Truck and MWPFA teams greatly appreciate and thank all who were involved in the event!

Wisconsin Lift Truck also exhibited on the show floor, showcasing the premium sit-down model of the Really-Virtual Forklift Simulator, Tropos Motors all-electric compact utility vehicle, Big Joe Forklift’s Joey Zero electric access vehicle, Interthor Pallet Jack Truck, and a Mariotti compact forklift.