As we awoke and looked out of the window of our hotel room, we were greeted by what looked like typical UK weather, with heavy and persistent rain a far cry from what one would generally expect in the beautiful city of Turin. It was clear that the day’s operator challenges were going to be made even more difficult by the inclement conditions. However, bad weather never deters top operators from going about their business, and in time honoured fashion the show had to go on!
A total of seven teams took part in four separate competitions, using a range of New Holland machines. There were teams representing Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, together with a team from Turin’s Firefighters, who had previously qualified during the Fiat Industrial Village heat.
All the tests were performed against a running clock, with the main objective to complete them in the fastest time possible. Taking care of recording times were officials from the Italian Timekeeper Association. The four competitions were as follows...
Golf – Where the operators had to pick up four different coloured golf balls, using an E175C crawler excavator, which had a specially adapted “scoop” attachment on the bucket, and place the balls into the colour co-ordinated tube located in the machines slew area.
Archimede – This test was like a giant version of a childs Fisher Price shape sorter! With the operator’s using an E215C crawler excavator to pick up a geometrical figure, using the snatch chain, and placing it into the corresponding base, which once again was colour co-ordinated. In this shot, which clearly shows the difficult conditions on the day, we see the eventual overall winner of the event from Germany Marc Abresch at the controls.
Place the treasure – In this test, competitors using a LM1333 telehandler had to remove a treasure chest that was placed on top of a platform and carry it safely along a defined path, all against the clock of course and without “taking out” any of the cones along the way!
Slalom and Goal – In this final test, competitors using a L220 skid steer loader, were tasked with carrying a football around a slalom course without dropping the ball, and eventually attempting to deposit the ball in the net. The course quickly became a quagmire in the rainy conditions, making the course even more challenging for the operators.
All the operators attending had already won through the preliminary heats in each of the different countries to gain their place in the Turin final, and were keen to show off their skills, speed and high degree of precision using the New Holland equipment. Great skills, team spirit and competitiveness were the order of the day for all involved, but the best operator turned out to be, for the second year running, Marc Abresch from Germany, who for his efforts, won a fantastic trip to Munich to visit Bauma 2013 next year.
It also gives me great pleasure to announce that the runner up in the competition was the UK’s James Leeming. James is seen here receiving the runners up trophy from Jean-Patrick Yekpe, New Holland’s European Marketing Director (Left) and Serena Bisacca, head of Brand Communications (Right)
The best overall team in the event was again won by Germany, with the UK coming in second place. Here we see the UK's best performer James Leeming at the controls of a New Holland excavator.
In summarizing the event, European Marketing Director Jean-Patrick Yekpe said “This competition is an acknowledgment of these operators’ great skills, and who test our products in the field. Operators who can use our machines in extreme conditions, with the utmost respect for safety standards, highlight our equipments winning features. These are the operators we like to involve during the design and testing phases of our new models, that are literally built around you”.