|Flanking Irving Materials’ Joe Zygus, 2015 champion, are Mobley Concrete’s Chris Harrison (left), runner up; and, Concrete Supply’s Harvey Harmon, third place. They led a record pool of contenders in the 10th National Mixer Truck Driver Championship, staged in terraced parking levels at the JW Mariott San Antonio Hill Country Resorts. Drivers mustered at sunrise for the Challenge Course, featuring On Target, Tightest Turn, Mixer Bowling and eight other stations.
Joe Zygus, based at the Irving Materials Inc. plant in Lafayette, Ind., took the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s 2015 National Mixer Driver Championship, staged alongside the ConcreteWorks Conference & Expo at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas.
Zygus prevailed among a record 64-driver field on the strength of one of the top Challenge Course scores to date in the competition’s 10 years. Rounding out the championship leaders, runner up to fifth place, were Chris Harrison of Mobley Concrete Co., Russellville, Ark.; Harvey Harmon of Concrete Supply Co., Charlotte; David Mangold of Cemex USA, Cocoa, Fla.; and, Bruce Mitchell of Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, Gary, Ind. The NRMCA Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau awarded the top finishers cash prizes of $200, $300, $500, $1,000 and $2,500.
This year’s competitors hailed from 21 states and Washington, D.C., qualifying for the National Mixer Driver Championship by winning truck challenges or rodeo events at the state or regional level, or similar competitions NRMCA member producers stage in house.
NRMCA’s Operations, Environmental and Safety Committee organizes the National Mixer Driver Championship. Committee members, along with TMMB representatives and Concrete Industry Management Program students assist in judging and set up. Drivers earn points on the 11-station Challenge Course, requiring navigation of rear or front discharge mixer trucks or precise chute placement; delivery ticket inspection and reaction time tests; visual vehicle inspection; and, a two-hour written exam. NRMCA will call for 2016 National Mixer Truck Driver Championship applications next spring.
Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau members exercised their own showmanship at the National Mixer Driver Championship, dispatching to San Antonio models from their assembly plants or Texas customers Martin Marietta Materials (Kenworth T880-mounted Con-Tech) and Charley’s Concrete (Mack Granite-mounted Beck, above). Although the Lone Star State is not a major front discharge mixer market, Oshkosh and Terex did not take a back seat in the Challenge Course or its displays. Oshkosh and McNeilus graphics played to both Texas pride and NRMCA, which saw its best ConcreteWorks gathering to date, attendance 650-plus.