Morgan County team gets the 'three-peat' as District 10 Roadeo champions
Magoffin County's James Trusty wins overall individual championship
JACKSON, KY – For the third straight year, the team from the Morgan County state highway maintenance garage won the championship in the Department of Highways District 10's annual Roadeo equipment operating contest.
For James Trusty from Magoffin County, who was recognized during the event on Thursday, May 23, for 20 years of service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, it was an especially noteworthy day. He won the overall individual championship, based on the highest average score in all events. Individual event winners hailed from Estill and Morgan counties.
The annual Roadeo brings equipment operators from the district's maintenance garages together for a day of friendly competition and fellowship. The event allows equipment operators from the district's crews to show their skills in operating the equipment they use to maintain state highways in the district. The obstacle courses simulate actual situations equipment operators may encounter in the performance of their duties. The event is officially known as the Equipment Operators Safety Training Conference, and participants received training in fire safety, conducted by members of the Lee County Volunteer Fire Department, as part of the day's schedule.
Individual event winners were:Backhoe: Scott Prater, Morgan County, first place; Chad Conway, Menifee County, second place.Snowplow obstacle course (single-axle tandem truck): Freddy Hylton, Morgan County, first place; Blake Elam, Morgan County, second place.Tractor with mower: Matt Kirby, Estill County, first place; Keith Horn, Lee County, second place.Grader: Ben Montgomery, Morgan County, first place; James Trusty, Magoffin County, second place.
The individual contest winners and runners-up will advance to a statewide competition against participants from the other 11 highway districts across Kentucky, to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park June 26-27. State winners will be eligible to participate in the annual Southeastern Regional Equipment Operators Safety Training Conference competition, to be held in Biloxi, Miss., in September.
Despite a weather forecast calling for above-average temperatures, overcast skies and a cool breeze made competition conditions a bit more pleasant than had been expected. Thundershowers popped up a few miles north of the event site at the District 10 equipment garage in Beattyville, but the Roadeo avoided any inclement weather or rain delays.
"Our county maintenance crew members have to work in all sorts of weather conditions and are subject to being called out at any time of the day or night," said Corbett Caudill, chief district engineer. "In addition to the normal snow and ice removal duties our crews face each winter, we had to respond to a large number of mudslides, rockfalls, breaks in pavement, and flooded roads this year. Our personnel do an excellent job maintaining our state highways and responding to emergency situations caused by the weather or other issues. Operating the equipment necessary to maintain our highways year-round, and to keep them clear of snow and ice in the winter, takes a lot of skill and knowledge. The Roadeo gives our employees a chance to show off their abilities. It also gives our employees from our county garages, who don't get to have much interaction with other crews on a regular basis, a chance to know that they are all part of one team and that we appreciate all of them for their effort and hard work."
District 10 encompasses the counties of Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Magoffin, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Powell and Wolfe in east-central and southeastern Kentucky.