Dot Foods Hosts Forklift Rodeo Grand Nationals

Representatives from Maryland, New York and Oklahoma DCs take first place in Grand Nationals.

Mt. Sterling, IL: Three Dot Foods warehouse employees lassoed trips to Key West, Cancun or one of four other vacation destinations by maneuvering through an obstacle course on a sit-down forklift, mule (pallet jack) or narrow-aisle reach truck at the company’s Forklift Rodeo Grand Nationals on June 24.

Dot crowned winners on each piece of equipment during the event, which encourages safe and efficient operation of material handling equipment. Competitors carried a trash can with a basketball balanced on it through a timed obstacle course, with penalties for safety infractions or contact with the course boundaries.

Tony Grimes from the Williamsport, MD warehouse and Mike Chilbert from the Liverpool, NY DC won on mule and narrow-aisle, respectively, while Michael Rose, representing the Ardmore, OK DC was the forklift champion. The Oklahoma warehouse accumulated the best overall score to earn bragging rights as the all-around DC champion.

“Not only is this event fun and exciting for our warehouse employees and their families, but it promotes safe and efficient operation of the equipment. Our judges score the participants on speed and safety, taking into account any bumping into or upsetting the pallets that outline the course,” says John Long, vice president of warehousing.

Each year, Dot Foods holds Warehouse Appreciation Week at each of its distribution centers across the country. As part of the week, employees compete in qualifying rounds of the Forklift Rodeo, and the top winner on each piece of equipment earns an all-expenses-paid trip to Mt. Sterling for the Grand Nationals. (Visit for video from the Daily Ardmoreite in Ardmore, Okla.)

“With all of the excitement surrounding Dot’s 50th anniversary this year, there was an even greater atmosphere and sense of pride for the Grand Nationals,” says Matt Carey, Illinois warehouse support manager and 2010 Forklift Rodeo coordinator.

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