Toromont Cat crowns local Ontario operator champion

Cat Operator Challenge
Brian Davis, Toromont Construction Solutions Manager, congratulates winner Octavio Miranda

Following four days of exciting competition, Octavio Miranda of L.M. Enterprises has been named winner of the Ontario Toromont Cat Local Championship. Part of the Cat Global Operator Challenge, Toromont hosted the Ontario event in Cambridge on September 7th and 8th, as well as Pickering on September 14th and 15th.

The competition consists of 3 timed events.

In “The Big Dig” event, operators are tasked with digging a 10 m trench using Cat 2D grade technology in a Cat 320 excavator. The operator uses a benchmark to establish the grade and then starts the excavation. After digging half of the trench, the operator transfers the established grade using a touch point and then excavates the second half of the trench. Time penalties are given for errors such as achieving the wrong depth or width.

The “Load and Go” event challenges operators to load up to achieve payloads in fewer passes using a Cat 950M wheel loader. The operator travels to a stockpile, loads the bucket, travels a course to a dump target and returns at least 3 times. The total material moved must be as close as possible to the target payload. Time penalties are awarded for being under or over the target payload, hitting obstacles and spillage.

The final event, “Backhoe or Bust,” tests the operator’s skills using a Cat 420 XE backhoe loader. At the first station, the operator must use the backhoe bucket to pick up a weighted object and maneuver it through an obstacle course. Next, the operator moves to a second station and uses the backhoe bucket to load various sized balls placed on top of a pilons to dump into a bin.

Octavio decided to keep his approach to the competition simple: “Just block out the noise and do my job. There’s no real strategy, just focus on the task and maybe put a little pep in my step,” he explained. “I’m ecstatic about the win and hopefully I did my best to represent myself, L.M. Enterprises and Canada. But to be honest, I was surprised that I still got it. There were a lot of amazing competitors that were extremely smooth and had me worried.”

Brian Davis, Construction Solutions Manager, for Toromont Cat commented on Octavio’s win: “We’ve seen some incredible skills throughout this competition. Operators spend the majority of their time on one or two machines, very few are truly proficient on all three. Having three machine challenges really tests an operator’s expertise in running different equipment because they need to complete each one in order to qualify. It’s not easy to put your hand up and perform in front of a group of your peers, so I’d like to personally thank each of our competitors for putting their pride aside and going for it. Our Ontario winner Octavio Miranda set a very impressive time and should prove to be a strong competitor at the East Regionals in North Carolina. We wish him luck and I will be there to cheer him on…hopefully to the World Finals at Con-Expo in March 2023”.

As winner of the Ontario challenge, Miranda will join Québec winner, Marc-André Gilbert of Construction St-Gelais, and the future winner of a combined Manitoba and Maritime competition in North Carolina, to compete for the title of North American Regional Champion. Regional winners will be invited to take part in the world-renowned CONEXPO in Las Vegas on March 14, 2023.