Caterpillar launches Global Operator Challenge
By Adam FreillEquipment
Three-round contest will pit the world’s best machine operators in competition across nearly 40 countries on a wide range of construction machines.
Caterpillar Inc. is inviting machine operators from around the globe to take on the world in its 2022/2023 Global Operator Challenge. The challenge tests the skills and precision of equipment operators as they prove their excellence in operating Cat machinery, as well as their ability to master any piece of construction equipment safely and efficiently.
“More than 80 Cat dealers will host local, one-of-a-kind competitions, celebrating equipment operators and enabling them to showcase their exceptional skills in fun and dynamic ways,” said Tony Fassino, group president of Construction Industries at Caterpillar Inc. “Whether their expertise lies in digging a trench, moving aggregates or managing demolition, our Global Operator Challenge will be demanding for even the most experienced operators. We can’t wait to see what they can do with our machines.”
Sixty-seven Cat dealers hosted local competitions in the 2019/2020 challenge, and operators from 30 countries participated. The company expects the 2022/2023 competition to be Caterpillar’s largest construction industry event of its kind.
The first round of the challenge consists of local qualifiers, hosted by Cat dealers starting in March and running through September of this year. To make this year’s competition even more challenging, Caterpillar has added the requirement that every event must feature three different challenges on three separate pieces of equipment. Therefore, operators must master a broad assortment of equipment to qualify for the next round.
Those who qualify in the local events will then move onto regional semi-final competitions in October of 2022. Nine finalists will emerge from the regional semifinals and participate in the global finals competition in Caterpillar’s outdoor Festival Grounds exhibit during CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas in March of 2023. The winner of that competition will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to a Caterpillar facility.
Jaus Neigum, owner of Industrial Backhoe Ltd. in Medicine Hat, Alberta, was named 2019/2020 Global Operator Challenge champion.
“I’ve been operating Cat machines for more than 15 years. Having the opportunity to demonstrate my skills and compete against peers from around the world was one of the most rewarding experiences in my career,” he said. “If you’re an operator of heavy equipment, this is a contest you don’t want to miss. And, if you’re a business owner like me and my partners, I encourage you to put forward your best operators, because this competition is going to be even bigger and better than the last one.”
During each portion of the Global Operator Challenge, participants execute a variety of tasks, such as digging a trench, loading a precise amount of dirt, and hauling or maneuvering the equipment through a variety of obstacles. Scoring is based on the operator’s skills, efficiency, as well as his or her competence in using integrated technology to enhance the machine’s performance.
Cat next generation machines will allow these operators to take advantage of available technologies to complete the challenges, such as Cat Payload, Grade and Command. Other features like Cat Grade Assist, rear view cameras, return to dig and return to carry will also aid the operators in completing the challenges.
For more information about the Global Operator Challenge or to express interest in participating in the competition, please visit www.cat.com/operatorchallenge.