For the Beaver
Snowplow drivers from Stone Mills and surrounding area had the chance to use their safe-driving skills for some fun at the District 8 Road Supervisors Association 2018 Truck Roadeo in Centreville this past Wednesday.
Sixteen operators, two from each municipality in the district, gathered early at the Stone Mills township yard for the competition.
Throughout the morning they wrote a safety test, performed a pre-trip inspection and endured a Canada’s Worst Driver-style obstacle course.
Stone Mills plowman Ed Courneya placed first, using 25 year’s experience to weave his plow between cones and lift his wing between bars. Courneya said that overcast weather added some challenge to the course, which only had inches of leeway.
“It made it a little more challenging when you’re on your mirrors trying to back up.”
Courneya said that identifying vehicle defects in the safety-inspection segment of the contest, such as loose bolts and low tire pressure, also took some know-how.
“When you go around for your safety, you have to make sure everything is in top working order,” he said.Turns, stopping distance and a serpentine were other categories judged by a panel of reps from equipment suppliers and related businesses.
Courneya and second-place winner, Tyendinaga Township’s Mike Tyner, will take what they’ve learned to the provincial level come September at the Association of Ontario Road Supervisors Provincial Safety Truck Roadeo in Owen Sound.
Nine municipalities took part in this past Wednesday’s course, including South and Central Frontenac, Marmora and Lake, Quinte West, the City of Belleville and Rideau Lakes.
Greater Napanee was represented by drivers Jeff Harker and Brian Marrison. Mayor Gord Schermerhorn was there for support along with deputy mayor Marg Isbester and councillor Roger Cole.
A crowd of almost 100 gathered for the event’s weekday debut.
Stone Mills public works manager Jeff Thompson explained that it was more for public works than the community, however.
“You wouldn’t get anybody out on the weekend, not these employees,” Thompson said. “They deserve a little break after the winter and it’s good networking for them – they all face the same challenges.”
Weather aside, Stone Mills’ plows aren’t put away for the season just yet – a touch-a-truck event will take place in the coming weeks.