LIMA, OH (WTOL) - ODOT District 1's best equipment operators got their competitive juices flowing Tuesday in the annual 'roadeo' in Lima.
The event is a friendly competition among ODOT employees, but the real purpose behind the competition is to ensure workers have the ability to efficiently maneuver equipment.
"When I first started, I'd say the hardest part for me was plowing at dark on a roadway," said Dylan Neff, an HT1 in Wyandotte County. "You really don't know and trying to avoid mailboxes on a two-way road."
The competition also serves as a training opportunity for newer workers.
"Obviously, we take our jobs very, very seriously and this ongoing training really helps them in their efforts during winter operations," said Kirk Slusher, District 1 Deputy Director.
Employees from each of ODOT District 1's eight-county region were eligible to participate and the winners will advance to the state competition in the fall.
The competition is divided in two categories: Trucking and loading. Operators are also tested on the ins and outs of the trucks.
While some are a breeze for operators, others can be a challenge.
"The hardest part of the obstacle course is the offset where you have to go through where there's two by fours and you can't knock the two by fours off the barrels," said Jamie Duryea, a highway tech for Defiance County.
Also included in the 'roadeo' is the 'Paint the Plow' contest where local high school students painted an ODOT plow blade and operators choose a winner.