Workers in Tuscaloosa revved the engines of heavy equipment Friday in a multi-event competition for the chance to be named "best equipment operator" in the state.

According to John McWilliams, spokesperson for the West Central Region of the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Tuscaloosa Area Equipment "Roadeo" was held Friday in a parking lot at University Mall.

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McWilliams said 60 workers from ALDOT's Carrolton, Livingston, Greensboro, Maplesville and Tuscaloosa Districts participated in the event, which seeks to promote and recognize precision and skill for heavy equipment operators and to improve safety techniques.

"Having this friendly competition increases employee morale and helps recognize the best equipment operators," McWilliams said.

McWilliams said the winners of the area will advance to a statewide event that will be held this summer where they will vie for a chance to represent Alabama in the Southeast Regional Competition this fall.

McWilliams said the state began participating in the competition in 2019, and Alabama's heavy equipment operators are judged for their skills on various equipment vehicles, including the single axle dump truck, tandem axle dump truck, backhoe, tractor, mower and motor grader.

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