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Bladen’s Kinlaw, Dowless win NCDOT ‘Roadeo’ Competition

Steven Blanton operates a crane during the competition earlier this month in Robeson County. (NCDOT photo)

Tractor mower Wade Kinlaw and motor grader Tracy Dowless, both based in Bladen County, won their competitions during the NC Department of Transportation’s Division 6 ‘Roadeo’ held May 7-9 in Lumberton.

About 150 division employees squared off in seven categories on an abandoned tarmac at the Lumberton Regional Airport.

“This is an opportunity for the employees to get away from the grind of every-day training and have fun and compete,” said Karol Koval, the division’s safety officer.

Division 6 includes maintenance yards and NCDOT offices in Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Harnett and Robeson counties.

The employees were graded on completing obstacles, such as maneuvering equipment around orange cones, among other criteria. Watchful judges deducted points when drivers made mistakes, such as nicking a drum.

The winning employees who earned the highest score in each equipment category were recently announced. They advance to the state championship roadeo in Raleigh on June 20.

Other category winners and their work area within Division 6 included:

• Single-axle dump truck: Mike Breakiron, Harnett maintenance

• Crane: Steven Powell, Columbus bridge maintenance

• Tandem-axle dump truck: Keith Wrench, Harnett maintenance

• Backhoe tractor: Daniel Langston, Harnett maintenance

• Lowboy truck trailer: Keith Jackson, Division 6’s unit that does road maintenance

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