Joseph Zygas, a Lafayette, Ind.-based driver for Irving Materials Inc., won the 4th Annual National Mixer Driver Championship, staged during National
Joseph Ziggy Zygas, a Lafayette, Ind.-based driver for Irving Materials Inc., won the 4th Annual National Mixer Driver Championship, staged during National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s 2009 ConcreteWorks Conference & Expo last month in Indianapolis. Second- and third-place honors, respectively, went to Aggregate Industries’ Jeffrey Clark of Crofton, Md., and Irving Materials’ Trent Slavens of Rossville, Ind. The top finishers received $2,500, $1,000 and $500 cash prizes from NRMCA-affiliate, the Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau (TMMB).
Contestants comprised 34 delivery professionals from 21 states in a competition combining written exam, truck walk-around and visual inspection, plus a 10-station challenge course. The latter two were set up at what proved an ideally appropriate venue: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, located a few miles from the ConcreteWorks venue, the Indianapolis Marriott.
National Mixer Truck Driver Championship participants are primarily drivers who have placed at or near the top of NRMCA member company or state RMCA skills competitions or rodeos. As is custom, this year’s drivers had their choice of rear- or front-discharge trucks to navigate eight point-weighted challenges: Tightest Turn, measuring the truck’s left-side proximity to a barrel; Tennis Ball Drive-Through, between two rows of pedestal-mounted balls spaced at tire spread plus four inches; Parallel Park; Forward Stop; On Target, aligning the discharge chute’s pivot point with a pavement-mounted bull’s eye; Rear Wheel Back-Through, testing the ability to maneuver right rear wheels through a row of tennis balls spaced at tire spread plus four inches; Scale Box, placing right rear tandem on a 2-ft.-square plate; and, Backing Stop.
Rounding out the course were two challenges where success brought retail gift cards: Chute Hoops and Break an Egg, each challenging drivers’ ability to work a front-discharge mixer’s controls. Irving Materials furnished front-discharge mixers for driving and chute challenges. Continental CBMW and McNeilus provided International-mounted rear-discharge mixers for the driving challenges, while Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete brought another rear unit for the walk around and visual inspection station.
MARTIN MARIETTA MATERIALS’ ANNA BROWN: EQUAL COMPETITOR
In addition to having the best National Mixer Driver Championship backdrop to date Û the Indianapolis Motor Speedway winner’s circle, pagoda and grandstands Û this year’s event was the first with a female competitor: Anna Brown, a Hot Springs, Ark., driver for Martin Marietta Materials.
A mother of four and grandmother of eight, she is the 2009 Arkansas Ready Mixed Concrete Association Mixer Driver Champion Û and the first female to take a state RMCA truck challenge. At Martin Marietta, where she has spent five of her 19 years as a mixer driver, Anna serves as Team Leader, Defensive Driving Instructor, and Safety Coordinator. Those duties reflect her winning ways, as she has topped three in-house driving competitions, thus qualifying for the ARMCA challenge. Anna holds a Class B CDL and is a NRMCA Certified Concrete Delivery Professional.