Yee-haw, it’s time to saddle up your iron bulls – that’s forklifts for you city-folk – and take a shot at the cash prizes at the state’s 13th Annual Forklift Rodeo.
The first of three regional contests was held last weekend in Richland, but there’s still time to sign up for the other two, which will be held July 17 in Spokane and Aug. 21 in Auburn.
Cash is awarded for the top seven finishers in each regional, with the top qualifier getting $300. The final competition will be held Sept. 29 in Spokane, with more money to be won: $500 for first place, $400 for second, $300 for third, $200 for fourth and $100 for fifth.
The finals will be part of the Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference, which will be held Sept. 29-30 at the Spokane Convention Center.
Competitors first have to pass a written exam and forklift inspection before showing off their skills in an obstacle course. There is a $40 entry fee and only the first 30 drivers who register in each region will be allowed to compete. For more information, visit www.wagovconf.org/forklift.htm.
Nathan Locati of Henningsen was last week’s top finisher in Richland. Phil Anderson and Elton Gould of Columbia Crest took second and third, respectively. Rounding out the top finishers were: Cal Torres of ConAgra-Lamb Weston; Steve Jimenez of Columbia Crest; Ronald Smith of WCH; and Denice Strawn of CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. A team competition was also held, with Columbia Crest coming in first and Columbia Colstore second. The Columbia Crest team is made up of Anderson, Gould and Jimenez. The Columbia Colstore team includes Jesus Barajes, Eduardo Garcia and Thomas Norman.
Last year’s individual winners were: Andrew Ibbotson of Versacold, first place; Randy Langwell of Versacold, second place; and Doug Graham of Boeing, third place. A team competition was also held last year, with Boeing coming in first and Versacold second. Boeing’s team included Graham, Joe Henry and Mike Weinman.