THE victors in the UK and Ireland leg of the Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge have been confirmed following a set of ‘highly competitive tests’ at the firm’s visitor centre in Leicestershire.
Operators demonstrated agility, speed, and precision in a variety of challenges using the latest Cat equipment.
Amongst a tough field, Finning announced the UK regional winner as Bryan Williamson with an overall time of six minutes and six seconds, and the Irish regional winner as returning 2019 champion Tommy Murphy, with an overall time of five minutes and 54 seconds.
Both will now go through to the European semi-finals which are being held in Malaga in October. Here they will compete in a series of ‘even tougher’ challenges against some of the best machine operators in Europe for a place at the prestigious final to be crowned Global Champion in Las Vegas.
Bryan Williamson, UK regional winner, said, “I am so pleased to have represented my country well in this challenge, it’s a great achievement. After competing at the previous Operator Challenge in 2019, my day-to-day work as an operator at Eastern Civils and Construction and a bit of luck prepared me for this year’s challenge. Although there was some tough competition and challenging tasks, I know it will be fiercer competition at the next stage in Malaga.”
Tommy Murphy, Irish regional winner, added, “It’s great to see that the stakes are getting higher each year, but a returning win feels incredible. After the tough finale in Las Vegas in the last Operator Challenge, I hope this time I will be crowned the champion!”
Following a two year hiatus since the last event, a new and unique mystery challenge was introduced. Using the new Cat Command technology, operators were tasked with using a remote console to control a dozer located over 5,000 miles away in Arizona. This helped to test the 21st century skills of the operators, whilst demonstrating the ‘huge potential benefits for safety and productivity’ that Cat Command offers.
Tracey Earp, marketing manager at Finning, added, “We are so pleased with the turnout at this year’s challenge after a two year break during Covid. We have been really impressed with the quality of entrants and how they all took to the range of challenges we had set. So both Bryan and Tommy did absolutely brilliantly to finish in first place.
“Events like this make me so proud of the people we have in our industry and hopeful for the future, with a few female contenders being role models for all women in construction. We are so excited to see who will be awarded European Champion in October and if Bryan or Tommy will progress to compete on the world stage.”