Delivery professionals from Concrete Company of Springfield (Mo.), Irving Materials and Lafarge North America took top honors in the second National Mixer
Delivery professionals from Concrete Company of Springfield (Mo.), Irving Materials and Lafarge North America took top honors in the second National Mixer Driver Championship, staged during the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s (Oct. 28-30) Fall Conference in Phoenix. With 38 drivers from 21 states, the competition was divided into three parts: 1) Walk around, visual inspection, testing contestants’ ability to pinpoint a sample truck’s safety defects in no more than five minutes; 2) Written exam based on reference materials provided prior to the Fall Conference; and, 3) Challenge course measuring drivers’ ability to maneuver or stop a rear-discharge or front-discharge mixer at stations designed to mimic common plant or site conditions.
An obstacle course was set up in the parking area and helipad of the Fall Conference venue, the Pointe South Mountain Resort. It was designed by NRMCA Operations, Environmental and Safety Committee members, some of whom have organized similar truck rodeo-type events for their companies or state/regional groups.
First-place winner Kenneth Blair was awarded $2,500; a 23-year Conco veteran, he works out of the Springfield headquarters plant. Second-place winner Bill Emerson was awarded $1,000; a 29-year IMI veteran, he works out of the New Albany, Ind., plant. Third-place winner Kenny Ainsworth received $500; a 15-year Lafarge veteran, and a mixer driver for 24 years total, he works out of the Cartersville, Ga., plant. The three drivers and other championship participants were recognized with standing ovations during a reception and dinner on the final evening of the conference.
This year marked the second in which NRMCA co-located its annual OES Forum & Expo and Business Administration Conference gatherings under the Fall Conference banner. The format continues in October 2008 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, a venue with ample outdoor area for the third annual National Mixer Driver Championship. Prior to then, the OES Committee is discussing with ConExpo-Con/Agg 2008 organizers a prospective world-themed driver championship. It would be timed with the mid-March Las Vegas mega show.