Newton, Miss The rodeo is back in town. Although this rodeo is not the kind you're thinking about. This is the Mississippi Department of Transportation Roadeo, a competition for MDOT employees to show off their skills with the heavy equipment. Though the employees are having a blast competing, this roadeo serves an important purpose. It helps them see the areas they need to improve on.
Steven Foote’, MDOT information officer, says, "We have seven different events; some of them include the grader, bush hog, single axle, tandem axle. Some of these events they have to back up in certain areas, test their abilities to see what the dimensions are and learn a little bit more about how to maneuver these vehicles. And (it) gives them the chance to show off their skill against other competitors."
From picking up a golf ball with a spoon that’s tied to a back ho, to parallel parking an 18 wheeler, it takes a high degree of skill to have a chance in this competition, but the employees of MDOT love it and had a blast participating.
Douglas Evans, one of the competitors, says he had a blast. When asked about if he had fun competing against his co-workers, he said, "Oh yeah, that was the main purpose of all this, to out do my competitors here. That’s why they are standing on the sideline and I’m doing the interview."
Each event is scored, and the employee with the highest scores gets to go to a statewide competition and could get a chance to compete nationally.
For most of the men, it's a pride thing. For MDOT, the roadeo serves its purpose. It shows the men who need to improve and where they need to improve, and it shows who are the best operators.