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Plumas prevails in plow rodeo

Feather River Bulletin of Quincy, California

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Road workers from around the North State gathered in Quincy for an annual training, and spirited competition, when Plumas County hosted the Northern California County Engineers Association Snow Plow Rodeo on Oct. 7 at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds.

After morning presentations on safety by representatives of Trindel Insurance; a review of recently enacted laws by the California Highway Patrol; and air quality rules by the Regional Council of Rural Counties; the attendees viewed vendor displays.

After lunch it was time for the competition to begin.

Men competed in two events — "plow truck with wing" and "grader serpentine with bowling ball."

Joe Blackwell, the deputy director of public works described the first competition, which involved manipulating the front and side blades of the snowplow along a marked course designed to simulate a roadway. Cones represented obstacles such as mailboxes and vehicles.

Public Works Director Bob Perreault said the second competition involved "a large grader having to move a bowling ball through a coned track."

"It looks like all fun and games, but it gets the driver's mindset ready for the winter," Blackwell said.

Although the daylong event drew 120 attendees, only four drivers from each county are allowed to compete.

After the competition, the course was opened up to anyone who wanted to participate and Blackwood said that there were a lot of good performances.

The overall winner is selected based 70 percent on the competition, 20 percent on safety innovations and 10 percent on the best-looking vehicles. The driving competition is judged on skill level, with times only being used as a tiebreaker.

Plumas County came out on top and earned the coveted Golden Snow Plow Globe and "bragging rights for a year."

Those who attended the event included representatives from Lassen, Sierra, Butte, Placer and Trinity counties; as well as Caltrans.

Tec Equipment of Sparks, Nevada, brought a mobile barbecue and served lunch, with the assistance of several sponsors who paid for food and supplies for the day.

"This didn't cost the county any money," Blackwell stressed.

In addition to the information presented and the competition, Blackwell added that the annual event provides an opportunity to network with others.

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Original Publication Date: October 21, 2015

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