For the second year running, Janne Ensio Leppånen from Finland was the overall winner at the 2015 Case Rodeo International Final, the annual competition for the best construction equipment operators.
Janne Leppånen beat 43 highly skilled operators representing 18 countries, including the UK who took the ‘Winning Team’ award based on the results of all their drivers.
The three-day event, held 16-18 October, combined the competitive atmosphere of a rodeo with a friendly and elegant environment and offered operators, media representatives and the Case team a chance to strengthen their relationships and experience a festive gala evening surrounded by the royal charm of the historic Abbaye de Royaumont.
The finalists spent the first day at the Case Customer Centre for an afternoon of familiarization sessions and equipment training. Then the following morning they lined up for the competition.
The first challenge ‘Wild Wheels’ involved drivers using a 321F ZB compact wheel loader to transport a pallet through a slalom path before placing it in a perfect vertical position on another pallet to display the Case logo. This round went to Bendt Risom from Denmark, followed by Primoz Erjavek from Slovenia and Norbert Kessler from Austria.
The ‘Lawless Loader’ round required the operators to drive a TR270 compact track loader with the bucket filled with water and plastic ducks through a slalom path between cones on a sloped surface. Mr Leppånen won the game by carrying out the operation in the shortest time without draining the water and with the maximum number of ducks in the bucket. Richard Christian from the UK secured second place, while German operator Marc Abresch finished third place.
In the ‘Cherokee Crawler’ challenge, operators were asked to insert a pin, hooked on the bucket of a CX210D crawler excavator, into four small tubes in a specific order. Maxime Bruetschy from France won, followed by Krzysztof Stachecki from Poland and Thomas Kristensen from Denmark.
In the final challenge called ‘Big Thunder Backhoe’, the competitors using a 695ST backhoe loader had to take, one by one, five balls placed on five bases at different distances and score as many baskets as possible. James Binks from the UK won the challenge by scoring five baskets in the shortest time. Second and third place went respectively to Janne Hirsikangas from Sweden and Norwegian operator Alf Taskdal.
Janne Leppånen will hold the Case Rodeo title for another year and will automatically be invited to the 2016 competition. He also won a trip to Chicago and a visit to Case’s Tomahawk Customer Centre in Wisconsin, USA.