Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:07PM - 129 Views
Ralph B. Davis
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PRESTONSBURG — Heavy equipment operators brushed up on their skills Thursday, ahead of winter snowplow season, as well as engaged in a friendly competition.

The Highway District 12 Heavy Equipment “Road”-eo took place at Archer Park, with nearly 200 heavy equipment operators showing off their skills with snowplows, backhoes and graders.

District 12 information officer Sara George said the competition allows the operators to keep their skills sharp.

“These are skill tests designed to get them ready for snow and ice season and have a friendly little competition with each other,” George said.

There are no prizes other than bragging rights for winners, but top finishers in the contest move on to compete against other operators across the state, where they have a chance to earn a spot in the national competition.

But George said the competition takes a back seat to the experience gained.

“It’s a good morale-booster,” George said. “It’s also a good test going into snow and ice season, because obviously they’re not driving snowplows in good weather, and it’s been almost a year since they’ve been out on a snowplow.”

“In terms of skill, the course that’s set up for the snowplows, it’s a maze where of orange-and-white barrels that they have to drive their plow through, without touching any of them, certainly without knocking any of them over. And it’s also timed, so their precision and time are tested. This gives you not only some idea of your own abilities, but it also gives you some idea of what you’re going to encounter out there, albeit in dry weather now.”

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