A large turnout of contestants and their families came out to see some of the best operators in the area compete for an opportunity to take one of the top spots, compete against other Kelly Tractor top contestants at upcoming challenge events, move on to regional finals and potentially advance to the Global Operator Challenge Finals at ConExpo-Con/AGG 2023 in Las Vegas where Caterpillar will crown one operator as World Champion.
This is the first of three competitions that will be held by Kelly Tractor; the next challenge will be held on April 30 in Ft. Pierce, Fla., and the final challenge will be held at the company’s headquarters in Miami, Fla., on May 21.
The top three contestants at the Ft. Myers Operator Challenge were: John Gomez, LJ Clark Construction Inc; Dylan Reed, Quality Enterprises USA Inc; and Chris Dietrich, Chris Inc.
Jamie Hoffman, one of Kelly Tractor’s certified dealer instructors explained the overall layout of the course.
“We have five challenges — a dozer, an excavator, a loader, a compact track loader and a mini excavator competition. We needed to design each challenge to make it as tough as possible for each contestant because we are looking for the absolute best operator to represent south Florida in the North Carolina regional finals.”
To ensure the upcoming challenges have the same degree of difficulty as the Ft. Myers event, every possible detail of the overall course is measured and mapped out and will be duplicated at the Ft. Pierce and Miami course locations.
“This could not have been done without the team we had helping. These challenge events are not a one or two person show. From marketing to our demo instructors to the company owners, this is a full Kelly Tractor team effort and I appreciate every one of them,” Hoffman said. CEG
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