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Telford local Colin Price looks forward to impending RTITB operator of the year grand final 2011

When first announced as the runner-up of the Midlands and South National Finals back in June of this year, Colin Price, from Telford, Shropshire, expressed his joy at being told he would also be competing in the Operator of the Year Grand Final, stating: ‘I was very surprised and am absolutely chuffed to have been selected for the final.’

With the final just weeks away, Colin, much like the other 9 Grand Finalists, is eager for the competition to commence although unlike some, may be taking it all in his stride: ‘I haven’t really thought about it much recently, but I am very much looking forward to it. All of my friends and family have been asking me lots of questions about it.’

Colin, who has been an operator for 22 years and currently works at Cables to Go, Telford, displayed his skill and expertise in fork lift truck operation in the National Finals, held at TNT Express Services UK & Ireland in Tamworth, which enabled him to sail into the Grand Final. He divulged that he was yet to complete any form of preparation ahead of the big day, to be held at the RTITB Headquarters in Telford, Shropshire, but that it was very much on the agenda: ‘I don’t have access to a forklift truck at work that will allow me to practice. However, I want to try and practice ahead of the final and hope that soon I can get my nose in a book and my feet on a truck!’

The Grand Final will call for all 10 finalists to complete a series of 8 tests. Similar to the National Finals, the competitors will be unaware of the details of each test until the morning of the final. Like the other competitors, Colin may have been surprised to have been announced as a finalist, but the surprise has not stopped him from growing a competitive spirit. When asked how he felt about his abilities as an operator ahead of the final, Colin, who was trained by AES Training Services, joked: ‘I’m a Leo so naturally, I’m confident!’

The competition, which is now in its second year, has been celebrated by those within the industry as an innovative way in which to help set the standards within the field of material handling. The growing popularity of the competition has been evidenced by the sheer volume of applicants received this year, with Colin being one of thousands of qualified counterbalance operators who applied, all hoping to win the title of Operator of the Year. Upon being asked whether he would recommend the competition to other operators within the industry, Colin simply said: ‘Without a shadow of a doubt. Not only is the competition a great thing to participate in, but the grand prizes are incredibly generous.’

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