Caterpillar’s Global Operator Challenge finals set for ConExpo

Jaus Neigum from Medicine Hat, Alberta (center) will represent Canada at Caterpillar's Global Operator Challenge.

The finals of Caterpillar’s Global Operator Challenge are set to take place at ConExpo in Las Vegas in March.

The competition, the largest global campaign in Caterpillar history, will see nine regional champions from around the world compete on Tuesday, March 10, for their quest to be named the best of the best and awarded Global Operator Challenge Champion.

The finals will take place at the Cat Operator Stadium inside Caterpillar’s Booth #F4455 in the new ConExpo outdoor Festival Grounds.

Caterpillar launched the Global Operator Challenge to celebrate the operators who build our world, advocate and drive awareness for the trade, and elevate solutions that address jobsite challenges.

The first leg of the competition drew more than 10,000 participants to 70 Cat dealers from 30 countries, representing 22 different languages.

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.

Regional competitions

The regional competition challenges, designed to test skill and precision under pressure, tested operators’ abilities on machines they use daily as well as required the participants to adapt their skills for equipment they may not be familiar with. The operator had to exhibit a broad range of talents on multiple machines, including displaying their skills with advanced machine technologies. 

The best local operators competed at one of three Caterpillar sites for the regional championships. North and South America regional finals were held in Clayton, N.C.; European finals in Málaga, Spain; and Asia Pacific finals in Chichibu, Japan.

Global Operator Challenge finalists

North and South America

  • Jaus Neigum from Medicine Hat, Alberta (Finning Cat)
  • Ben Sandy from North Carolina (Gregory Poole)
  • Marcio dos Santos Verissimo from Brasil (Pesa) 

Europe

  • Thomas Murphy from Ireland (Finning Cat UK)
  • Erik Gregoric from Slovenia (Teknoxgroup)
  • Bruno Grossen from Switzerland (Avesco CH)

Asia Pacific

  • Hiroyuki Harada from Japan (Nippon Caterpillar)
  • Wilfren Jimenez from The Philippines (Monark Equipment)
  • Xu Congxin from China (Lei Shing Hong Machinery Northeast)

The main event

The nine finalists will compete in Las Vegas inside the Cat Operator Stadium at the new outdoor Caterpillar exhibit in the Festival Grounds immediately following the grand opening of ConExpo.

There will be 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.

After completion of the skills challenges, awards will be presented for the lowest time for each individual challenge, best team performance and announcement of the Global Operator Challenge Champion based on overall performance. 

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