Canada’s Jaus Neigum wins Cat’s Global Operator Challenge

Jaus Neigum competes in the Load and Carry competition during the finals of Cat's Global Operator Challenge.

The best in the west is now the best in the world. Jaus Neigum from Medicine Hat, Alberta has won Caterpillar’s Global Operator challenge.

The final leg of the competition was held at Caterpillar’s Operator Stadium on Tuesday, March 10 at ConExpo in Las Vegas.

Neigum beat eight other operators from around the world to earn the champion title.

Thomas Murphy from Ireland placed second, while Sebastian Behr from Germany placed third.

Neigum previously won the western north american leg of the competition to move onto the finals in Vegas.

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During the finals, the nine operators skills were tested via three final machine challenges: operating a medium hydraulic excavator using GRADE 2D, a medium wheel loader with Production Management and a Next Generation Mini-Excavator.

Neigum is a partner at Industrial Backhoes in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Industrial Backhoes was created more than 45 years ago by Neigum’s uncle. His father is also part of the company, and Neigum, 34, said he’s been in the cab at the family business since he was a child.

“By the time I was eight years old I was running excavators and backhoes,” Neigum previously told Equipment Journal. “As soon as my feet could touch the pedals I was able to operate it.”

Caterpillar launched the Global Operator Challenge at bauma to celebrate the operators who build our world, advocate and drive awareness for the trades, and elevate solutions that address jobsite challenges. Seventy Cat dealers from 30 countries, representing 22 different languages, kicked off the program by holding local operator challenges from March through September 2019.

More than 10,000 operators participated in these local events.

Participants’ operating skills were put to the test through a range of machines and tasks.  Operators were scored on speed, accuracy and operating best practice with penalties imposed for errors.

The operator with the lowest overall time for all tasks was acknowledged as the local champion and moved onto the regional championships.