Are you ready to take on the world? Caterpillar is once again seeking to crown the world’s best operator of construction equipment.
The invitation is now open for operators from more than 40 countries to participate in Caterpillar’s 2022-2023 Global Operator Challenge. Over three rounds, the challenge tests the skills and precision of equipment operators as they prove their excellence in operating Cat machinery and their ability to master any piece of equipment safely and efficiently.
Two years ago, more than 10,000 operators from 30 countries competed in the first-ever Global Operator Challenge in 2019-2020. Jaus Neigum, owner of Industrial Backhoe Ltd. in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, took home the title "best in the world" at the finals held at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020.
“I’ve been operating Cat machines for more than 15 years,” Neigum said. “Having the opportunity to demonstrate my skills and compete against peers from around the world was one of the most rewarding experiences in my career.”
As an operator of heavy equipment, he said Cat’s Global Operator Challenge is not a contest to miss.
Cat equips the machines with its latest machine-control and payload technologies. Operators using these technologies to complete the tasks they are assigned is part of the competition. The technologies include Cat Payload, Grade and Command, Cat Grade Assist, rearview cameras, return to dig and return to carry.
“If you’re a business owner like me and my partners, I encourage you to put forward your best operators, because this competition is going to be even bigger and better than the last one,” Neigum said.
Bigger and better
To make this year’s content even more challenging, Caterpillar has added the requirement that each event must feature three different competitions on three separate pieces of equipment. This ensures that operators will have to master a broad assortment of equipment to qualify for the next round.
During each portion of the Global Operator Challenge, participants execute a variety of tasks, such as digging a trench, loading a precise amount of dirt, and hauling or maneuvering the equipment through obstacles.
Scoring is based on the operators' skills, efficiency and their competence in using the integrated technology.
“Whether their expertise lies in digging a trench, moving aggregates or managing demolition, our Global Operator Challenge will be demanding for even the most experienced operators,” said Anthony Fassino, Caterpillar group president. “We can’t wait to see what they can do with our machines.”
Calling all operators
The first step to earning the title "best in the world" is to sign up for a local dealer competition, where operators compete in a series of skill challenges.
Business owners can show pride in their operating team by nominating them for the challenge. If the operators are not ready to compete for the title but still want to watch the competition, they can sign up as a spectator.
Cat dealers around the world will host the first-round local qualifying events from March to September 2022. In 2019-2020, 67 Cat dealers hosted events.
“More than 80 Cat dealers will host local one-of-a-kind competitions, celebrating equipment operators and enabling them to showcase their exceptional skills in fun and dynamic ways,” said Fassino.
Those who qualify in the local dealer events move on to one of nine regional semifinals in October 2022.
At the regional finals, Caterpillar will name two winners from North America representing the East and West; one winner from South America; three winners from the regionals in Europe, Africa and the Middle East; and three winners from the Asia Pacific finals.
Those nine winners will duke it out in the global finals in March 2023 at Caterpillar’s outdoor exhibit at ConExpo in Las Vegas. The winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to one Caterpillar facility worldwide.
For more information about the Global Operator Challenge or to express interest in competing, go to www.cat.com/operatorchallenge.