Mar 17, 2020
Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge Winner Announced
BY AsphaltPro Staff
Caterpillar has announced the winner of its 2020 Global Operator Challenge March 10 at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas. The competition started with over 10,000 operators in 30 countries and 70 dealer territories.
Jaus Neigum from Canada took home first place overall, as well as first place in both the Load and Carry Challenge and the Trenching Challenge. He completed all challenges with an amazingly fast combined time of only 16 minutes and 28 seconds. In the video below, Neigum shares his strategy for success and what he thinks it means to have pride in one’s trade.
AsphaltPro also took the opportunity to speak to Sebastian Behr of Germany, who has won the European Global Operator championship three times, and Thomas Murphy of Ireland. Both Behr and Murphy were members of Team Europe at the 2020 Global Operator Challenge, which came in first in the team challenges.
The competition took place in Cat’s booth at the Operator Stadium, a 60,000 square-feet arena that allows visitors to see Cat machines and products as they’re meant to be seen — in the dirt, hard at work.
Mark Due was the project manager for the stadium build. He shared with AsphaltPro that the wall around the stadium was not Jersey barriers. It’s a custom-designed and custom-fabricated retaining wall system made of concrete and staked into the ground every 5 feet. It had to be custom built to withstand the pressure of the dirt within the stadium and the machines working and moving material. The entire booth was on the festival lot’s concrete base, and then 3 feet depth of dirt sat atop that. It’s a sand-clay mix with an environmentally friendly additive for dust control.
For the competition, Caterpillar has had to update the technology on the machines in the contest so the control panels have the languages of each operator.
Competitor Yuji Tanaka took a photo of the settings on his own wheel loader back home in Japan to ensure he would be able to set up the wheel loader used in the competition to his exact specifications.
At the end of the day, every competitor ended up with at least one thing to take home: “You get to go home and say you did well in your trade,” Murphy said.