Mt. Sterling, Ill. - Dot Foods, the nation's largest food redistributor, hosted its 7th Annual Forklift Rodeo National Championship on June 21, 2012 and 30 of the top forklift wranglers from each of Dot's eight distribution centers tested their skills on a pallet-lined course for a chance to become the champion. A lucky few were crowned, including some repeat winners, as warehouse order selectors Josh Hall, Bobby Harris and Nick Blayney each brought home a 2012 Forklift Rodeo National Championship in their respective classes.
"This year, there were a couple of repeat winners but overall it was a new set of participants as well as winners," said Howard Bryerton, New York warehouse manager and 2012 Forklift Rodeo coordinator. "Each participant was able to meet many others from sister distribution centers and develop new friendships, share stories about life at their facility and enjoy the camaraderie of working for a great company."
Hall, representing Dot's Idaho Distribution Center in Burley, placed first in the Sitdown Lift Truck category with his best time ever at 1 minute and 43 seconds. This is the second year in a row that Hall captured this title. It was Harris, representing the Frozen Warehouse at Dot's Illinois headquarters in Mt. Sterling, who took top honors on the Narrow Aisle, besting his closest competitor by 14 seconds with a time of 1 minute, 42 seconds. Blayney, who represented Dot's Oklahoma Distribution Center in Ardmore, claimed the Mule (otherwise known as the electric pallet jack) championship to join Hall as a repeat winner. Posting a time of 1 minute, 31 seconds allowed Blayney to coast to his second straight Forklift Rodeo National Championship.
The winners from each category will enjoy their choice of one of seven all-expense paid vacations: Las Vegas; Nassau, Bahamas; Clearwater Beach, FL; Universal Studios in Orlando, FL; New Orleans; Cozumel, Mexico; or a Carnival Cruise.
Contestants were penalized for contacting walls, improper stops, horn usage and dropping the basketball. This ensured that contestants practiced the same safe habits in the competition that they use daily in the workplace.
"Safety is always the overriding theme of the event. This year the course was more technically challenging which reduced the speed and increased the need for safe operation of the equipment," said Bryerton. "Many of the contestants as well as spectators commented on the difference this year compared to years past."
The Illinois Frozen Warehouse used Harris' win along with a second-place finish on the Mule from Jon Moore, order selector, and an eighth-place finish by Gary DeMoss, order selector, on Sitdown Lift Truck to claim the overall Distribution Center Championship. The Distribution Center Championship was determined by the distribution center whose three representatives combined for the lowest score based off their finishing rank. The Illinois Frozen Warehouse finished with 11 points, besting the Illinois Dry Warehouse and Dot's Maryland Distribution Center's score of 13.
About Dot Foods
Dot Foods and Dot Transportation continue to experience exceptional growth and are hiring in record numbers. Both companies are looking to fill several positions for full and part-time drivers and warehouse personnel in all eight locations. To learn more about careers at Dot Foods, visit www.dotfoods.com/careers and follow @DotFoodsCareers on Twitter.
Dot Foods Inc. carries 105,000 products from 600 food industry manufacturers and is the largest food redistributor in the United States. Dot Foods distributes foodservice, convenience, retail and vending food products to distributors in all 50 states. Dot Foods operates eight distribution centers in: Modesto, Calif.; Vidalia, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mt. Sterling, Ill.; Cambridge City, Ind.; Williamsport, Md.; Liverpool, N.Y.; and Ardmore, Okla. For information, visit www.dotfoods.com.