With the RTITB Operator of the Year 2013 heats just 1 week away, each of the competitors will be filled with excitement, anticipation and in some cases, even nerves. One person in particular who will understand exactly how each finalist is feeling is Gary Maher, 2008 finalist and 2011 Operator of the Year Champion, who has recently been chosen as one of the judges.
Back in 2008, RTITB launched the first ever Operator of the Year competition which not only allowed operators from across the UK and Ireland to try their hand at winning the title and a brand new car, but also acknowledged the hard work of operators and trainers alike within the industry. When Gary was asked how he felt back in 2011, he said: "I was a lot more relaxed in the 2011 event compared to the previous time, and I think that really helped as nerves can easily get the better of you."
The competition has evolved since 2008, becoming bigger and better and identifies RTITB as a strong brand within the transport training industry. Speaking about his nomination as a judge, Gary said: "I’m looking forward to being a judge this year as it baffles me how you guys come up with the things you do to test people’s skills on a lift truck. I can’t wait to see what weird and wonderful things you have planned this year."
Having already won the coveted title and grand prize, the finalists may look to Gary for some words of wisdom regarding how to win. "My advice to competitors is to drive exactly how you were taught to drive. But most of all enjoy the day" said Gary.
Since its launch, the competition has been widely acknowledged as an innovative and fun way in which to help set standards within the materials handling industry. Gary says: "The competition, I feel, highlights the skills of lift truck drivers in the UK. How these people can control a machine so big in confined spaces, in a safe manner, without damaging goods is, a lot of the time, overlooked. It’s good to show people we have some very skilled guys hidden away in the warehouses. Oh and one of them is going to win a brand new car!"
The heats, to be held 19th to 22nd March, are open to the public. Attendance can be registered via the IMHX website www.imhx.biz. Attendees will have a chance to watch the finalists compete for the title and meet the RTITB team.