Get the broom: County sweeps regional backhoe rodeo
Earning major bragging rights among their peers, top equipment operators from Charleston County’s Public Works Department took the first, second and third place spots in the South Carolina Chapter of the American Public Works Association’s Regional Backhoe Rodeo on May 23.
Matthew Bishop of Adams Run took first place, with Marvin Green of Awendaw placing second and Kevin Brown of Ladson coming in third. The three placed in the same order at the County’s own competition earlier in the month, giving them the opportunity to move on to the regional level.
“As far as we know, this is the first time that any single county has taken the top three spots in the regional competition,” said Jim Neal, the county’s Public Works Department director. “The significance is that it demonstrates the skills and abilities of our county Public Works employees. The public should be proud knowing they are the same skills and abilities that are put to use in maintaining County roads and drainage systems every day.”
At the regional competition, Charleston County’s operators beat out 14 others in six different skill events. As the regional winner, Bishop will next compete in the South Carolina State Backhoe Rodeo Competition in Myrtle Beach on Aug. 4.
The regional showdown consisted of events that focus on operational requirements and emphasize safety. Competitors on backhoes were challenged to maneuver materials through small, tight spaces under strict time limits. Judges were qualified in the observation of safe and proper backhoe operational techniques and are impartial to the participants.
A backhoe is a large piece of road equipment used by public works staff to dig holes and trenches and to load trucks.