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Eastern Concrete, Cemex, Maschmeyer delivery pros rise to challenge

Eastern Concrete Materials veteran Ed Rieper took the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s 2017 National Mixer Driver Championship, staged at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas, during the group’s ConcreteWorks Conference. The first place finish earned the Saddle Brook, N.J., driver a $2,500 check from the NRMCA Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau, and adds to his 2016 National Mixer Driver Championship fifth-place and 2015 NRMCA Driver of the Year honors.

Joining Rieper atop the field, second to fifth: David Mangold of Cemex USA, Cocoa, Fla., who finished fourth in the 2015 competition and was 2016 Driver of the Year runner up; Gary Bethea of Maschmeyer Concrete Co., Lake Park, Fla.; Benny Grippe of Ferrara Bros. LLC, Flushing, N.Y.; and Allen Rogers of Concrete Supply Co., Lancaster, S.C.

The National Mixer Driver Championship combines a 12-station challenge course measuring contestants’ ability to maneuver rear or front discharge mixer trucks in common plant or site conditions; visual vehicle inspection and computer-based reaction time tests; and, written exam. The NRMCA Operations, Environmental and Safety Committee opens the competition to drivers prevailing in mixer truck roadeo or challenge events hosted by state and regional associations, or by producer members.

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From left, first to fifth place: Eastern Concrete’s Ed Rieper, Cemex USA’s David Mangold, Maschmeyer Concrete’s Gary Bethea, Ferrara Brothers’ Benny Grippe, and Concrete Supply’s Allen Rogers. Dallas’ Redi-Mix Concrete, a sister business of Eastern Concrete and Ferrara Bros. under U.S. Concrete, held up its end of the bargain for a parade of mixer trucks leading to the challenge course.
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Drivers choose a front or rear discharge mixer for the challenge course, shown here at the On Target station.
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Soon after entering the challenge course (right), drivers arrive at the Railroad Crossing station, which measures the closest stop at a safe distance.
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Drivers navigating the Tightest Turn station attempt to position their mixers as close as possible to a traffic barrel without stopping.
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The National Mixer Driver Championship visual vehicle inspection test follows the course challenge, awarding points on the ability to spot defects typical in a pre-trip inspection. Drivers are given five minutes and can walk around the vehicle twice.
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The Bowling station has become a challenge course fixture after a 2012 National Mixer Driver Championship debut.
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Lafarge Louisiana’s Latoya Davis was among drivers living up to Chute Hoops station crowd expectations.
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