The top three finishers at the 2014 ITD equipment roadeo were ( l to r) Matt Beckstead, Dan Daniels and Brad Steiner.

District 5 continues dominance at 2014 ITD equipment roadeo

Evidently, breaking a 20-year dry spell last year at the ITD equipment roadeo wasn't enough for District 5. Now they've won back-to-back state titles.

A year after Bruce Dial broke the two-decades-long string with his win in Garden Valley, Matt Beckstead of the Preston shop added his name to the traveling plaque honoring the best equipment operators at ITD with his triumph in Twin Falls Tuesday. Beckstead has been with ITD less than two years, and he was competing in just his second roadeo.

Until Dial won last year, it had been 20 years since a District 5 employee won the state title, according to long-time roadeo coordinator Rex Hufford.

Dan Daniels took second for D5. Daniels, a 12-year employee, is the Senior TT in Malad. Brad Steiner of District 3, a second-place statewide winner last year, followed in third, just five points behind Daniels. District 5's maintenance crew also took first as a team.

"When given a job to do, you know both Matt and Dan will get it done correctly, efficiently and in a safe manner, from the beginning to the end. Cleanup or corrective work won't be needed," said Steve Gertonson, D5's Operations Manager.

"I commend all of the District 5 team — Beckstead, Daniels, Randy Richards and Troy Foster ­— for their effort," added Gertonson. "It's the same team effort all of District 5 Operations members display in performance of their summer work plan, their winter maintenance efforts, or crossing foreman boundaries and handling emergency situations."

The 24 competitors who took part in the 2014 competition are ITD's best equipment operators from throughout the state, demonstrating the skills and techniques that translate into improved highway maintenance and traveler safety.

Scores reflected an average of two rounds through the truck-driving and loader-operator courses, a truck inspection and a written exam. Participants were given 10 minutes to find five "planted" defects in the truck inspection contest and 10 minutes to answer 10 multiple-choice questions.

The top two transportation technicians from the state roadeo qualify to compete with other operators from throughout the country in the national finals at Estes Park, Colo. It is held in conjunction with the 34th annual APWA Western Snow & Ice Conference and National Snow Roadeo this fall.

Published 6-13-14