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Linde holds operator challenge

07 October 2013

Leading global forklift truck and warehouse equipment manufacturer, Linde Material Handling (UK), held its annual Forklift Ultimate Operator Challenge on Saturday, September 7 at Linde Jewsburys in Castleford, West Yorkshire.

The 16 finalists were selected from a number of competitions throughout the year, held at customer sites and Linde facilities throughout the UK.

John Thompson, Linde driver training manager, says: "Over the past nine months we held a series of competitions challenging 350 competitors to find the elite 16 to compete against each for the national championship. The Operator Challenge tests the operator’s practical driving skills and also challenges their knowledge of equipment pre-check and condition which is a key element to ensuring the safe operation of any forklift.”

The finalists were encouraged by 100 supporters comprising members of their family and representatives from their individual companies. Although the event is very competitive, there is time for family fun and amongst other things the children enjoyed demonstrating their driving skills on pedal powered Linde forklifts and adults competed against each other for the best lap on the P60 course.

Kris Scarborough of Wilkinson’s was the overall winner of the 2013 competition, with last year’s winner, Andrew Rawson of Boots UK in second place and Colin MacKay of IPL finishing in third place.

Commenting on this year’s Challenge, Steve Redman, Aftersales Director of Linde Jewsbury’s said: "The event is used by many of our customers as an integral part of their own forklift operator training programmes. It aims to promote best practice and encourage enhanced levels of personal safety and handling efficiency.

"Linde recognises the skills of the forklift operator to be one of the main life cycle cost components, so operator welfare, comfort and safety are a consistent area of design focus for Linde.

"The Forklift Ultimate Operator Challenge gives us an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the professionalism and skills of all forklift operators and their commitment in the competition is commendable.  As always the final was a highly competitive event and we witnessed some exceptional driving skills.”

In addition to this UK wide competition, Linde also hosted its annual, international, StaplerCup. The German team won the overall competition followed by the Netherlands in second place and Hungary in third. The competition which takes place on Schlossplatz in Aschaffenburg, Germany, saw teams from Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Slovakia, Czech Republik, Switzerland, Austria, UK and a joint team of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia all compete for the coveted title. 

If you are interested in taking part in next year’s Ultimate Operator Challenge competition, contact your local NNC on 0845 608 5000 (or visit the Linde Training website: www.lindeforklifttraining.com.