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New Holland Grand Prix seeks out Europe’s best operators

Machine operators from seven European countries went head to head in a tournament to test their skills last month, as New Holland Construction’s 2011 Grand Prix reached its Grand Finale in Turin.

Twenty five operators from France, Italy, Germany, the UK, Spain, Portugal and Poland competed in four different exercises using different machines for each task.

Best placed

The best placed UK operator was Chris Shea, from European Plant Services, who came away with a very respectable third place in the “Slalom & Goal” event.

He was joined in Turin by his father Tom and brother Jonathan, from Leeds-based recycling contractor T Shea & Son, and Stuart Yuill, director of S&K Groundwork Solutions, based in Maldon, Essex.

The theme for New Holland’s fifth Grand Prix was fuel efficiency, and the four contests were designed to showcase four of the firm’s latest models: an L220 wheeled skidsteer loader for “Slalom & Goal”, a B115B backhoe for “Take the Ball”, a W170C wheel loader for “Raising the Bar” and an E305C tracked excavator for the toughest task, “Building the Pyramid”.

Football

In “Slalom and Goal” operators had to pick up a football in the machine’s bucket and carry it through an obstacle course before tossing it between a set of goalposts, while “Take the Ball” involved picking up a bar with a small ball attached by wire, and placing the ball into a narrow tube.

In “Raising the Bar” the operators picked up three coloured bars in a prescribed sequence and placed them in matching racks, and in “Building the Pyramid” they had to pick up four rocks in size order and place them on top of each other.

All four tasks had a time limit of four minutes, with the winner being the operator who completed the task in the fastest time.

The overall winner, German driver Mark Abresch, was placed in the top three in all four competitions.

The contest took place at the newly opened Fiat Industrial Village, a 74,000m2 sales and service facility for vehicles under Fiat’s New Holland Construction, New Holland Agriculture, Iveco and FPT Industrial brands.

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