“It’s not as easy as it looks,”
said Louisville Water Plumber Leader Shawn Shaw.
Shaw was talking about the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) ROADeo competition held at Waterfront Park on August 3.
Louisville Water, MSD, Metro Public Works, Jeffersontown Public Works, and others from across Kentucky took turns in the driver’s seat to show off their technical skills, maneuvering different tasks with a backhoe and a mini-excavator.
Shaw has represented Louisville Water in the ROADeo for 20 years. With that kind of experience, he’s inherited the role of Team Captain. Joining Shaw this year for their first time ever competing were Heavy Equipment Operators Nathan Reid and Brad Frans.
The shady staging area under the interstate was a relief on a hot day as workers tried to complete all the assignments in four minutes or less. Among the tasks: lifting triangle and square-shaped boards and precisely placing them in matching shaped holes, weaving a tire attached to a pole through narrow pipes without knocking over soccer balls, and carefully scooping a football off a stand, then dropping it into a bucket.
Brad Frans rounded out the top five who nailed all four exercises in the backhoe test without any penalties. Shaw and Reid made the top 15 in the mini-excavator event. Louisville Project Engineer Michael Meyer had a front row seat for all the action. He was one of the judges in the backhoe portion.
For a little fun, Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf hopped into a mini-excavator, he said for the first time in 12 years, to try his hand at the football challenge. He admitted he was a little rusty, but in the end, he successfully grabbed the ball and made it to the bucket.
While Louisville Water didn’t advance to the next round of competition, Shaw, Frans, and Reid did a great job!