(From left to right: Matt Beckstead, Dan Daniels and Bruce Dial)

Three from southeast Idaho will represent ITD as top equipment operators at regionals

Three local southeast Idaho people will represent the Idaho Transportation Department as the top equipment operators at a western regional snow and ice competition in September.

Matt Beckstead, of ITD's Preston maintenance shed, Dan Daniels of Malad maintenance, and Pocatello's Bruce Dial will make the trip as the top statewide representative from Idaho. Brad Steiner, of the New Meadows maintenance shed from ITD's southwest Idaho district, also will make the trip to Colorado as a member of the ITD team.

The ITD employees will represent Idaho in the 2014 American Public Works Association Western Snow & Ice Competition in Loveland, Colo. Sept. 24-26.

The District 5 (southeast Idaho) transportation workers received top honors during ITD's 2014 state equipment "roadeo" event in June for demonstrating skills and techniques that translate into improved highway maintenance and traveler safety.

"The snowplow operators¹ performance is evaluated in real time here at ITD. For the last three years, the southeast Idaho operators have led the state on this metric due to the skill and determination of great people like Matt, Dan, and Bruce," said ITD District Engineer Ed Bala.

A total of 24 employees from across the state competed in the annual event. Scores reflected an average of two rounds through the truck-driving and loader-operator courses. Additionally, a truck inspection required competitors to find five "planted" defects in their vehicles and 10 minutes to answer a multiple-choice exam.

Beckstead has been with the department for two years and was competing in just his second ITD roadeo. Daniels has been with ITD for 12 years, and Dial is an 11-year employee.

"First and foremost, this is a safety program," said Rex Hufford, an ITD equipment analyst and longtime roadeo coordinator. "It is a big deal, because these guys consistently practice safety, whether plowing snow or during summer operations. They have to pay attention to everything that is going on 360 degrees around the machine."

Published 8-8-14