The New Holland Super Boom Road Show with its Skid Steer Challenge came to Westchester Tractor in Brewster, N.Y. on April 23, part of the company’s year-long 35th anniversary celebration. Westchester Tractor is one of 30 heavy equipment dealerships (sales, services, parts and rentals) nationwide to host the Super Boom Road Show in 2011.
Steady rains could not dampen the spirits of the Big Apple — John Apple, Westchester Tractor’s owner, who founded his company in 1976.
Apple and his staff invited clients, customers and colleagues from southern New York and Connecticut to try their skills on the new model 200 series New Holland skid steer loader.
“We sent out fliers to invite 4,800 of our customers to promote the Road Show,” said Teresa Luongo, one of Westchester’s marketers.
Operators were tested on controllability, hydraulic changes, maneuverability and visibility, reach and multi-function on a five-station track covered in the extra challenge of mud courtesy of Mother Nature.
At Station One, operators had to pass through a series of three vertical poles without touching them. At Station Two, operators had to demonstrate hydraulic mount plate proficiency by uncoupling the bucket with the pole to a bucket without it.
Station Three involved driving around orange traffic cones, through an S-shaped track. At Station Four, operators had to back up as close to a traffic cone as they could, without hitting it.
At the final Station, operators had to demonstrate superior reach and high-end visibility and multi-function with the use of a dump simulator constructed of PVC piping.
There were big prizes at stake. Beyond door and raffle prizes, the winner of the Road Show competition would earn a trip for two (including airfare) to Kentucky in the fall for the GIE+EXPO to compete in the National Super Boom Road Show Challenge, along with a $500 cash prize, a custom belt buckle and a certificate.
The second place winner would receive a $250 cash prize, along with the other items, and the third-place winner got a $100 prize with items.
The first place winner on April 23 in Brewster was Mike Gallagher of Sorby Contracting, with a time of 1:12 seconds; the second-place finisher was Brian Sorby, also of Sorby Contracting, with a time of 1:20 seconds; and third place went to Dan Luongo of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson Department of Public Works, who completed the tasks in 1:22 seconds.
The winner of the national event in Kentucky will receive a fully-loaded 200 Series Skid Steer Loader valued at $35,000, along with a $5,000 cash prize, a leather jacket and a commemorative scale model. Plus, more than $12,500 in other prizes will be awarded to top finalists nationwide.
John Apple and his wife Donna, along with parts manager Glen Borden, greeted guests with burgers, hot dogs, wine, beer and other treats.
“We feel the New Holland skid steer loader is one of the best in its class,” said Apple. “We wanted to have this Road Show to have people see the new models and to try them out and have some fun at the same time, on an interesting course.
“And, despite the bad weather, we have had people come as far as (Eastern) Massachusetts to participate. Our staff did a wonderful job setting up for this,” he said.
Twelve active employees helped organize the event, which Apple said took two months to put together.