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Trucking experts converge on Napanee, Ont. for annual ‘roadeo’

The Association of Ontario Road Supervisors held its first safety truck roadeo since 2019 Wednesday in Napanee.

An annual trucking competition is taking place in Napanee. (C) Global News An annual trucking competition is taking place in Napanee.

Events were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. It takes a precise hand here at the Provincial Safety Truck Roadeo, where Ontario’s top equipment operators are showing off their expertise. “It’s pretty, pretty intense for the drivers.

And if you get inside some of these plow trucks and you’re up in them and you see the plow and wing in front of you, it’s pretty overwhelming actually when you’re up in the big equipment,” President of District 8 Road Supervisors Association Aaron Hatton said. Maneuvering these big trucks is no easy task, but these equipment operators make it look simple.

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“The roadeo itself is laid out in a way that the obstacles replicate a lot of the obstacles that they would see on a day-to-day basis when they’re doing their snow plowing routes, in a controlled environment. So this is dried pavement, where they’re normally dealing with this in a big storm event,” said Karla Musso-Garcia of Oro-Medonte Township. Wednesday marks the provincial final, where representatives from municipalities across the province compete for “Driver of the Year.”

“It’s a good opportunity to get out and meet other drivers from different municipalities and test your skills and just get back in the seat of the truck,” truck driver, Corey Gemmill said. Gemmill won the top spot for District 8’s competition on Tuesday. Video: Public meeting held to inform residents about Front Road construction delays

“I know that our drivers and our staff, and even the mechanics, are the best in the whole district as well as the best in the whole province,” says Napanee Mayor Marg Isbester. “But I didn’t realize how many things they would have to go through.” Isbester says a bit of healthy competition is on the menu. “You know, we always like to compare Highway 2, for instance, that runs through most of the municipalities.

We want to make sure that our part is just a little bit better than the one to the east and the west,” says Isbester. “But that’s friendly and we all do an excellent job.”