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ODOT employees compete in district ‘roadeo’

CHILLICOTHE — Thirty-one employees from the Ohio Department of Transportation – District 9 showed their driving muscle last week as they participated in the district’s 2013 truck and loader roadeo competition at the Scioto County Highway Maintenance Facility in Lucasville.

Created in 1988, the roadeo is held every spring in ODOT’s 12 districts as a means to recognize and test the employees who operate some of the state’s heaviest equipment. Through a series of tests and a driving course of clearances, serpentines and stops, the roadeo is a challenging competition that measures the skill level of participating highway technicians and mechanics.

“The roadeo serves to develop drivers’ awareness, ability and safe driving practices, and those who participate are scored based on set criteria that judges their skills against the course and the clock,” said ODOT District 9 Deputy Director Vaughn Wilson. “It is a difficult event that gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their tremendous abilities and to hone their skills.”

This year’s District 9 roadeo winner in the truck competition was Josh Havens, a highway technician at ODOT’s Pike County Highway Maintenance Facility, while the winner of the loader division was David Jenkins, a highway technician from the Lawrence County facility.

Respectively, this year’s top six scorers in the truck competition included Aaron Moran of Brown County; Jamie Barton of Highland County; Mike Beasley of Pike County; Dustin Pfeifer of Ross County; and Brandon Shamhart of Scioto County. And in the loader division, Josh Havens came in second, with Ross County’s Pfeifer, Garold Cox of Lawrence County, Dustin Beekman of Pike County, and Rusty DeMint of Adams County rounding out the top six.

Moving forward to compete in the statewide Director’s Cup of the ODOT truck and loader roadeo to be held in September, Havens and Moran will represent the district in the truck competition, while Jenkins and Pfeifer will participate in the loader division.

As Havens placed in both events, he deferred his second-place finish in the loader division to third-place finisher Dustin Pfeifer, giving him the chance to compete in the director’s cup.