The 13th September was a day of firsts as the International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) 2016 opened its doors at the Birmingham NEC and the first heat of the RTITB International Forklift Operator of the Year 2016 competition commenced.
The IMHX once again hosted RTITB’s celebrated competition, which will see 40 forklift operators from across the world compete in a series of heats throughout the week to earn one of ten places in the Grand Final, where they will battle it out to be crowned champion.
On day one, each operator competed in four tests, including a pre-use inspection, theory knowledge assessment and two practical operating tests – the Explosive Mixer and Fun Factory. At the end of the day Kris Scarborough from Wilko Retail Ltd was announced the overall winner of the first heat, with Adam Hayes from Travis Perkins as the runner up. Both contestants will move forward to the Grand Final at RTITB’s headquarters in the West Midlands in early 2017.
The competition will continue throughout IMHX, ending on Friday 16th September. On Friday, the two operators who did not qualify for the Grand Final in their individual heat but have the next highest overall scores will also move forward to the next stage of the competition.
This year’s competition is partnered with McCue, which has provided FlexCore pedestrian safety barriers, and UniCarriers which have provided the Counterbalance ET trucks used by competitors throughout the heats. The 2016 competition tests have been specially themed according to test sponsors Pyroban, Transaid, TruckLOG, DOLAV and Racking & Storage Solutions. B & B Attachments is also supported the competition as the attachment sponsor again.
Since 2008, RTITB has held Forklift Operator of the Year competitions, celebrating the skills, safety and professionalism of lift truck operators from across the UK. This year, RTITB welcomed entries from operators across the world, and the day one heat included operators from the USA and India, enabling RTITB to celebrate the achievements of operators internationally, as well as within the UK. One of the finalists was from Northern Ireland (Jan Kontul from Diageo is from Belfast).
To see the heats in action, visit Stand 9A40 at IMHX.
Heat one’s finalist line up was:
• Adam Hayes, trained and employed by Travis Perkins
• Chuck Long, trained and employed by Boise Cascade
• Gary Boocock, trained and employed by Wincanton
• Jan Kontul, trained and employed by Diageo Global Supply
• Kris Scarborough, trained and employed by Wilko Retail Ltd
• Kristian Sherratt, trained and employed by Travis Perkins
• Madalina Ciobota, trained and employed by Wincanton
• Phillips Padley, trained by and employed by Wilko Retail Ltd
• Richard Dunn, trained by and employed by Wilko Retail Ltd
• Srinivasa Devappa, trained and employed by Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited
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