Every two years Toronto, Canada hosts The National Heavy Equipment Show, the most recent just having ended on March 21-22, 2007. This year the show drew a record number in audience, exceeding 11,000 visitors.
One of the prestigious events in the show is the Backhoe Rodeo. It’s been nearly 10 years, and Octavio Miranda still not considered a “rodeo champ.” Miranda, a long time backhoe rodeo competitor, achieved his goal this year. Miranda out-dueled his main competitor and defending champ, Joe Trecapelli, in a series of events. The backhoe rodeo includes contestants knocking balls off of pylons; pouring wine into three glasses; moving two buckets and a 4×4 beam with vintage backhoe controls; and placing two hula hoops on a rack with a three-pronged hook. All events were performed by a four-stick Case 580 model backhoe. This year Miranda finally became the Backhoe Rodeo Grand Champion.
The backhoe rodeo is “fun,” but takes skill and “tests even the most seasoned operator.” For the next two years, Miranda can claim bragging rights as being one of the elite in heavy equipment operating.
NAHETS understands what it means to combine fun with skill in heavy equipment operating. As part of its various training programs, the different training schools have an “egg rodeo” where students who have been training attempt to pick-up an egg off the dirt and place it in an egg carton, without cracking it. This is done with the bucket attachment of a backhoe. To view a video of this see: http://youtube.com/watch?v=g_pJPtfJcQ0.
Events such as the backhoe rodeo at the National Heavy Equipment Show, and the egg rodeo at NAHETS training schools, exemplify the excitement and standards of the heavy equipment industry. These events reflect the skill and capabilities of operators. Despite preconceived notions, certified and qualified equipment operators are more than just guys in t-shirts who move a couple controls around with a cigarette in their mouth.
NAHETS graduates are among the elite in heavy equipment training, education, and operating. The backhoe competition and egg rodeo are simply a mesh and example of higher standards, greater skill, and more fun.