ROAD-EO National Championship Crowns the Best of the Best
ISM Raceway is the site of many fierce competitions, with the best drivers facing off in NASCAR and IndyCar races. Republic Services also brought its best drivers to ISM – along with its best operators and technicians – for the company’s ROAD-EO National Championship.
Two skills courses were set up just outside the Arizona racetrack’s famed oval – one for Collection trucks and the other for Post Collection Bulldozers and Wheel Loaders – along with two contests for technicians. The competition may not have been as fast as a NASCAR race, but the participants were just as determined.
The ROAD-EO National Championship, held Feb. 26, brought together 79 finalists from across the country to crown Republic Services’ best of the best.
Ten Collection drivers in each of four categories – Residential Front-Load, Residential Side-Load, Commercial Front-Load, and Industrial Roll-Off – faced a timed course set with seven challenges similar to those they see on the job. Of course, backing into an alley, parallel parking and maneuvering through a serpentine course is much more nerve-wracking with a crowd of cheering spectators.
In the Post Collection category, Bulldozer and Wheel Loader operators faced seven timed challenges of their own. The forward/back challenge required an operator to drive through two barrels without touching them, both forward and in reverse – all while keeping the blade no more than 24 inches off the ground. Bumping a barrel meant losing points!
Adding to the pressure, competitors could only rely on experience, instinct, and tremendous skill to get through the course. Assistance devices like backup cameras were disabled.
Republic Services operates one of the largest vocational fleets in the country, so its technicians are absolutely essential when it comes to keeping equipment running safely. Competing technicians faced an exaggerated challenge designed to test their diagnostic skills. They were assigned either a Roll-Off truck or Bulldozer with 10 problems – and only had 10 minutes to find them.
The road to ROAD-EO was long. These finalists qualified from a field of 16,000 drivers, operators, and techs across the country. To get to the National Championship, the finalists won local and area-level competitions, so they already were among the Top 10 in the country in their field!
Altogether, the finalists, who hail from 31 states, have tallied nearly 1,000 years of service with Republic Services, and five finalists have been with the company for 30+ years.
Congratulations to the winners!
- Front-Load: Dan Hill, Midwest Area, Bettendorf, Iowa
- Rear-Load: Jesus Lizares, West Area, Gardena, Calif.
- Side-Load: Eric Farnstrom, Southeast Area, Lakeland, Fla.
- Roll-Off: Jorge Marenco, West Area, Pacheco, Calif.
- Collection Technician: Chris Shromoff, Midwest Area, Eden Prairie, Minn.
- Bulldozer: Juan Paniagua, Mid-Atlantic Area, Greenville, S.C.
- Wheel Loader: Brandon Carithers, Southeast Area, Winder, Ga.
- Post Collection Technician: Roy Sauve, Northwest Area, Denver, Colo.
In addition to being crowned the best of the best, the first-, second- and third-place winner in each category was awarded a cash prize and additional paid time off. Congratulations to all who competed!