Cat’s Global Operator Challenge crowns a new World Champion

Operator Challenge champion
Patrick Doheny from Australia

Patrick Doheny from Australia has won the title of World Champion in Caterpillar’s Global Operator Challenge.

Doheny from Australia took the crown out of nine finalists from around the world who competed in the final round of the Global Operator Challenge in the Cat Operator Stadium During ConExpo in Las Vegas.

“I am beyond thrilled to have earned the title of the best Caterpillar machine operator on the planet,” Doheny said. “Kudos to Caterpillar for hosting such an incredible event to highlight the importance of our profession. It is truly a dream come true to see your life’s passion be rewarded in such an amazing way.”

Doheny, an operator with 25 years experience focused in bulk earthworks and civil construction, is director of CRE Group in Melbourne, Australia. As champion, he wins a trip for two to a location where Caterpillar has one of its worldwide production facilities.

Matt Ferris from the United States placed second in the competition, followed by Łukasz Mokrzyński from Poland placing third.  

“Caterpillar created this competition to celebrate machine operators who build our world, advocate and drive awareness for their trade, and highlight solutions that address jobsite challenges,” said Jason Hurdis, Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge Execution Lead and Global Market Professional.

“All of the competitors – and especially our nine finalists – showed tremendous skills and abilities operating the latest Cat construction machines and technologies, maneuvering through some difficult challenges and showing the world the invaluable role they play in infrastructure creation.”

5,500 Operator Challenge contestants

The challenge kicked off in the spring of 2022 with more than 10,000 operators worldwide signing up to compete. After a pre-qualification phase, the first round featured 5,500 contestants competing in local events organized by 77 Cat dealers in 32 countries. The second round in the fall of 2022 consisted of four regional events held in the United States, Brazil, Spain, and Japan. These competitions included digging a trench, loading a precise amount of dirt, and hauling or maneuvering the machines through obstacles.

RELATED: Toromont Cat crowns local Ontario operator champion

The finals kicked off with the “Fork ‘n Loader” challenge, where each operator used the Cat 950 wheel loader with Payload technology to load and move material through specified locations on the course.

The “Backhoe Services” challenge had operators using both ends of the Cat 420 XE backhoe to open a small box and precisely place small objects inside. This challenge was designed by Canada’s Jaus Neigum, the 2020 inaugural Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge World Champion, and highlighted Caterpillar’s Customer Value Agreements and services offerings.

During the final “Trench Run” challenge, operators showed off their trenching skills using a Cat 315 excavator equipped with Grade technology.

Final scores were based on the operator’s skills, efficiency, and competence in executing a variety of tasks, with penalties imposed for errors. Awards were given to the overall event champion, the individual with the lowest time in each skills challenge, and the team with the lowest combined score. The operators completed the challenges using Cat construction machines integrated with the latest machine-control and payload technologies, including Cat Payload, Grade and Command, Cat Grade Assist, rearview cameras, return to dig and return to carry.

Other Operator Challenge awards include:

  • “Fork ‘n Loader” challenge winner – Patrick Doheny from Australia
  • “Backhoe Services” challenge winner – John Schiedeck from the United States
  • “Trench Run” challenge winner – Łukasz Mokrzyński from Poland
  • Team champion Team Americas (Fernando Do Nascimento from Brazil and Matt Ferris and John Schiedeck, both from the United States)