Republic Services recently announced the winners of its first National Truck ROAD-EO competition held March 2 in Phoenix, Arizona, where the company is headquartered. The ROAD-EO involved Republic’s 50 top drivers and technicians — among 15,000 nationwide — who earned the opportunity to compete in the national championship by winning local and area competitions.
First place winners in the following driver categories were:
- Front-Load Driver Erik Ruiz from Las Vegas
- Rear-Load Driver Edgar Pino-Lara from Fairfax, Virginia
- Roll-Off Driver Raymond Shirey from Marion, Illinois
- Side-Load Driver Nate Lutz from Fort Wayne, Indiana
The first and second place winners in each category received a cash award, additional paid time-off, and other gifts and amenities.
The driving competition involved 40 drivers who competed in one of the four truck categories. They faced seven timed challenges that replicated the obstacles that drivers experience on their routes, from backing up in a narrow alleyway to navigating tight turns.
The driving competition challenges included:
- Challenge 1: Serpentine: Drivers weave in and out of the carts in a continuous motion w/o stopping, touching a cart or going beyond the street boundaries.
- Challenge 2: Right Turn: The driver is required to drive the vehicle in a continuous movement through a close right hand turn.
- Challenge 3: Alley Backing: Drivers must back the vehicle through a simulated alley without touching side barricades or the rear barricade.
- Challenge 4: Parallel/Alley Parking: Tests the driver’s ability to maneuver the vehicle backward into a narrow space.
- Challenge 5: Straight Line: Drivers must run the right wheels of the vehicle between two rows of markers without stopping and without touching any of the markers.
- Challenge 6: Off-Set: Drivers must maneuver the vehicle between one set of barricades, turn sharply and go between a second set of barricades.
- Challenge 7: Forward Stop: Drivers must approach a line in a continuous movement and stop the vehicle with the front bumper within six inches of the line.
Ten technicians also competed in a series of diagnostic tests on a Roll-Off truck. Competitors had to identify 10 vehicle problems in an allotted amount of time. First place winner was Shane Prater from Lexington, Kentucky.
“Safety is at the center of everything we do,” said Don Slager, Republic Services’ president and chief executive officer. “We recruit the best drivers with the strongest safety records and talented technicians with outstanding mechanical knowledge. Every day, these men and women are responsible for maintaining highly engineered, sophisticated pieces of heavy equipment in order to provide total reliability while safely navigating through our neighborhoods, serving our 14 million customers and collecting over 5 million tons of recycling and waste materials. What better way to celebrate our commitment to safety than by having our best drivers and technicians showcase their skills and really find out who’s the best-of-the-best.”