Iowa man wins JLG’s first Telehandler Skills Challenge

Eric Roussel bet he could outperform other telehanlder operators in Las Vegas, and won, taking first place in the JLG-sponsored Telehandler Skills Challenge, held during the World of Concrete show.

The contest, which was held among licensed telehandler operators on a simulated jobsite, put the operators through two runs. The first day of the contest consisted of preliminary rounds and eight finalists competed the second day. The participants, from 17 states and Canada, had their choice of JLG, Gradall, Lull or SkyTrak telehanlders. Roussel used a SkyTrak Model 6042 for his winning run.

The contest was designed to simulate the kinds of obstacles a telehandler operator would encounter on a jobsite. On the course, contestants had to negotiate a series of pylons while they completed tasks such as lifting and placing a spec mix bag along with a grout hog, said Bill Hindman, president of Industrial Marketing Services and a spectator at the event. Participants were judged foremost on safety, having points deducted for failure to sound their horn or hitting a pylon. Each participant was also judged on the time it took to complete the course and the number of tasks they managed to complete.

Len Mackowiak and Darin Mason placed second and third, respectively.

“Our congratulations go to Eric Roussel and all the others that competed in the challenge,” said David Baxter, director of marketing for JLG. “They definitely showed their skills in how a telehandler can be safely and effectively utilized on any type of masonry job where materials need to be delivered and placed.”

For his first-place effort, Roussel won two tickets to the 2006 NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball championship in Indianapolis, including two night’s accommodations. He also received an Indianapolis Motor Speedway experience, which includes laps at 180 mph in a stretch Indy Car, and a $1,000 American Express gift card. Runner up Mackowiak won a $1,000 gift card and third place finisher Mason won a $500 gift card. All three men also received a JLG leather jacket along with a trophy.