JLG Industries Inc., a subsidiary of Oshkosh Truck Corp., recently announced that Joe Thomas, representing Knowlton & Sons Masonry Construction of Clifford, Pa., was the First Place winner in the 2007 JLG Telehandler Skills Challenge held during last month's World of Concrete show in Las Vegas.
The competition was held among licensed telehandler operators from across the U.S. and Canada on a closed-course simulated worksite. Contestants used their choice of Gradall, JLG, Lull or SkyTrak telehandler and scoring was based on following proper safety procedures, driving accuracy, load placement and the overall time to complete the course. In addition to JLG Industries, other sponsors of the competition included Miller Electric and Dakota AG Innovations.
The competition included a preliminary run on Tuesday, Jan. 23, for all participants. The top eight competitors advanced to the finals on Thursday, Jan. 25, where they were given two opportunities to navigate the course. Final standings were based on the best score of their two runs, with prizes and trophies awarded to the top three competitors.
"Our congratulations to Joe Thomas and all of the competitors in the 2007 JLG Telehandler Skills Challenge," said David Baxter, JLG's director of marketing and market development, who was on hand to present the awards. "As the world's largest manufacturer of telehandlers, JLG is delighted to have again sponsored this contest. We appreciate the opportunity to showcase the capabilities of these operators and to demonstrate how telehandlers can contribute to the safety and productivity on jobsites everywhere."
Driving a Gradall Model G6-42P, Thomas took the top prize of a 42-in. plasma television set and Miller generator. Second place honors, including a Weber grill and Omaha steak package, went to Pete Greco from G. Porter & Co. in Naperville, Ill., driving a Lull 644E-42. Third place and a Miller welder went to last year's winner, Eric Roussel of Randy Roussel Masonry Inc. in Dubuque, Iowa, who drove a SkyTrak Model 6042.
Along with the three top-prize winners, other contestants qualifying for the finals included Michael Bonner (Caswell Brickwork Inc., Warrenton, Mo.), Glenn Houghton Sr. (Houghton Masonry, Blue Grass, Iowa), Chris Yeghoian (RE Serrano, Antiach, Calif.), Mario Nichilo Jr. (Turnpike Masonry Ltd., Toronto, Canada) and Bill Larson (Summit Concrete & Masonry, Cedar, Minnesota).
In addition to their merchandise prizes, all three top finishers also received a crystal trophy, while all eight finalists received a JLG jacket, a die-cast model of the telehandler they used in the competition and a commemorative JLG shirt and hardhat.