Department of Highways, District 10
Highway Department District 10 employees ‘saddle up’ their snowplows and backhoes for Equipment Roadeo
JACKSON, KY – Temperatures in the 90s and sunny skies give little hint that winter is around the corner, but state highway crews are already preparing for the onset of snow and ice removal season.
It’s quickly becoming a tradition for the annual Equipment Roadeo to signal the unofficial beginning to snow and ice removal season in the Department of Highways District 10. This event, held each year in late summer at the district’s equipment garage in Beattyville, brings together equipment operators from the district’s county garages for a day of friendly competition and fellowship.
This year’s District 10 Roadeo took place on Wednesday, Sept. 1 and allowed equipment operators from several counties to show their skills in operating the equipment they use to maintain state highways in the district. The obstacle courses simulated actual situations equipment operators may encounter in the performance of their duties. The Equipment Roadeo is intended to reinforce the importance of the winter weather aspect of highway maintenance.
"Our main priority during winter is to keep highways safe and passable," said Mark Westfall, chief district engineer. "By bringing crews from our counties together for some friendly competition, we can stress the concept that we are all a team working together to keep the district's highways clear this winter."
· Backhoe: Greg Arvin, Estill County, first place; Darrell Rogers, Menifee County, second place
· Snowplow obstacle course: Stan Howard, Magoffin County, first place; James Trusty, Magoffin County, second place
· Alley Dock (truck with trailer): Jason Blackburn, Jackson district office, first place; James Trusty, Magoffin County, second place
· Overall individual, Stan Howard, Magoffin County
· Overall team, Magoffin County
The individual winners will advance to a statewide competition against participants from the other 11 highway districts across Kentucky, to be held Sept. 22-23 at Anderson County Community Park in Lawrenceburg. Arvin was the 2009 state champion in the backhoe competition and will be eligible to defend his title.
Basketball shooting and corn toss contests were also held for contestants to pass time while waiting to compete in the official Roadeo events. Winners were Larry Bush from Wolfe County in basketball and the team of Devin Adkins and Freddie Hylton from Morgan County in the corn toss.
"This type of event helps show just how much knowledge and skill are needed to operate equipment and keep our roads in good repair,” Westfall said. “Snow and ice season sometimes tests our abilities and limits, and it's good to see that we have employees who are up to the challenge. It's also important for our employees in distant crews, who do get to have much interaction on a regular basis, to know that they are all part of one team and that we appreciate all of them for their effort and hard work."
District 10 encompasses the counties of Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Magoffin, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Powell and Wolfe in east-central and southeastern Kentucky.
Individual winners: Greg Arvin, backhoe: Stan Howard, snowplow obstacle course and overall; Jason Blackburn, alley dock.
Overall crw champions: Magoffin County Maintenance
Corn toss winners: Devin Adkins and Freddie Hylton from Morgan County
Basketball free-throw shooting: Larry Bush from Wolfe County