Twelve years of high-tech “hide and seek” were celebrated in July, at the University of Georgia. This year’s International Utility Locate Rodeo competition was hosted by Georgia 811 and the National Utility Locate Contractors Association (NULCA). The International Utility Locate Rodeo (Locate Rodeo) is described as “The Olympics of the Locate Industry”. More than 70 locate technician competitors and 140 volunteers from across the U.S. and Canada were in attendance this year.
“We take this event very seriously and strive to create a fair but challenging event,” explained Claudette Campbell, President and CEO, Georgia 811. “To our sponsors, vendors and volunteers…this event would not happen without you. Thank all of you for your time, effort, and dedication.”
Dan Bradely of Safe Site Utility Services and President of NUCLA added that, “It is often said that underground utility locating ‘is not an exact science’. Obviously, science is involved in the process but it requires a special kind of person to put all the pieces together to succeed in this industry. A successful locator uses the science along with good observation, research, communication and decision-making skills to accomplish the difficult task of underground utility locating over and over, day after day.
This event is a great time to celebrate the accomplishments of the technicians competing.”
The mission of the Locate Rodeo is to be the preeminent event for Utility Locate Technicians. Locate Rodeo is designed to celebrate the art and science behind the craft of underground utility locating. It recognizes and serves as the cornerstone for promoting high quality and achievable standards in the industry.
Competitors compete in one of four divisions: gas, power, telecom or water. Within each division, their skills are put to the test at three different event sites. The scores from all three event sites are used to determine the winner. Each competitor is allowed 12 minutes to complete an event and time is used as a tie breaker. A bonus event, the Locate From Hell (LFH), is open to any competitor who feels they are up to the challenge.
Decisions to participate in the LFH are voluntary and it differs from other divisions in several ways. First, there is only one event site. Second, the competitor only has three minutes of mean time for locating. Third, the competitor may not use his or her own equipment; they are required to select equipment from one of the participating Rodeo Equipment Manufacturer (REM) sponsors.
First place winners in each division win $1000. Second place earns $500 and third takes home $250. The total purse for the event is $8750. In addition to the Rodeo winnings, the Rodeo Equipment Manufacturer’s Challenge (REMC) makes it possible for first place winners to add up to $1000 more to their first place winnings. In addition, Double Diamond Sponsor Krylon awarded $100 to each first place winner. This year a record $14,850 in winnings was awarded.
For the 2013 competition, REMC Diamond sponsors Radiodetection and Vivax/Metrotech sponsored all four divisions and the LFH. Winners in each division, who declared their use of a diamond REMC’s equipment, could add $1000 to their winnings. Our Gold Level REMC sponsor (RIDGID) also had their equipment available at the LFH and added $500 to a competitor’s first place winnings.
Meghan Wade is Director, Corporate Communications, Georgia 811. She can be reached at 770-856-4975 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. James Jordan (Company: Premier City: Islip, NY Equipment Used: Vivax-Metrotech) **Krylon Scholarship Winner
2. Chandler Mohn (Company: CenterPoint Energy City: Elk River, MN Equipment Used:Vivax-Metrotech)
3. Richard Zuniga (Company: Cobb Fendley City: Houston, TX Equipment Used: Radiodetection) **Texas 811 Feeder Event Winner
1. David Waddel (Company: City of Tallahassee City: Tallahassee, FL Equipment Used: Radiodetection) **Sunshine “No Bull” scholarship Winner
2. Andrew Allen (Company: Mark Rite Utility Services City: Canton, GA Equipment Used: Vivax/Metrotech) **GUCC Scholarship Winner
3. Mike Dmytryszyn (Company: G-Tel City: Scotland, ON Equipment Used: Vivax/Metrotech) **Ontario CGA Feeder Event Winner
1. Shannon Knause (Company: Mark Rite Utility Services City: Snellville, GA Equipment Used: Radiodetection)
2. Ronnie Ashley (Company: STS/Utiliquest City: Ellabell, GA Equipment Used: Radiodetection)
3. Jacob Clark (Company: STS/Utiliquest City: Coverdale, CA Equipment Used: Vivax/Metrotech)
1. Modesto Castillega (Company: Cobb Fendley City: Pasadena, TX Equipment Used: Radiodetection) **Texas 811 Feeder Event Winner
2. Paul Donahue (Company: City of Ormond Beach City: Ormand Beach, FL Equipment Used: Vivax/Metrotech) **Sunshine One Call “No Bull” Scholarship Winner
3. Matthew West (Company: West Locating Services City: Hanahan, SC)
LOCATE FROM HELL
1. Casey Pool (Company: Colorado Springs Utilities City: Colorado Springs, CO Equipment Used: Vivax/Metrotech)
2. Drew Cooper (Company: STS/Utiliquest City: Commerce, GA Equipment Used: Radiodetection)
3. Andrea Davis (Company: RHD Services City: Atlanta, GA Equipment Used: Radiodetection)