EMEA’s top operators battle it out at 2016 CASE Rodeo Final

The CASE Rodeo operator challenge brought together the best machine operators from across Europe, Middle East and Africa, in a challenge of skill and technical ability.

The finest construction machinery operators from across Europe, Middle East and Africa recently gathered at the CASE Customer Centre Paris to compete in the final of the 2016 CASE Rodeo operator challenge. Following four highly technical challenges, French operator Ludovic Fronteau emerged victorious, lifting the trophy and winning the 2016 title, while Denmark grabbed the country team prize.

With names like Wild Wheels, Lawless Loader, Cherokee Crawler and Big Thunder Backhoe, each test was designed to assess the driver’s coordination, operating finesse and control behind the levers.

Wild Wheels called for the operators to take the controls of a CASE compact wheel loader equipped with pallet forks. The pallet had to be transported through two laps of the course and returned to its original position without dropping the cardboard box that was sitting on top of the pallet. Marks were lost for knocking over the cones that marked the course and the pallet had to be positioned precisely within a marked area. This challenge was won by eventual overall winner Ludovic Fronteau, in a time of 2:08:21 minutes, well ahead of his nearest competitor, Danish driver Bendt Martin Rison and third placed Swedish contestant Fredrik Johansson.

The Lawless Loader test involved a compact track loader with an attachment to carry a ball mounted on a cone. After following a set path through the test area, the operators had to throw the ball to knock over a set of nine skittles, before returning to the starting point. Working against the clock, points were lost for dropping the ball, for skittles left standing and for knocking over the cones.

For Cherokee Crawler, the operators moved up in size, to a CASE crawler excavator with a hook hanging from a chain at the end of the dipper arm. The contestants had to hook wooden cubes one at a time and position them within a marked area, in the right sequence.

The final competition called upon the most famous CASE machine of all, the backhoe loader. Using the backhoe bucket, the driver had to take five balls from individual bases and place them into a basketball hoop. Dropped balls and missing the basket resulted in time penalties

A special team award was given to an International group, with operators from Mozambique, Israel and Romania. This additional award was given to recognise their team spirit and enjoyment of the event. This was the first time that operators from both Israel and Mozambique have taken part in the Rodeo.

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