Sebastian Behr from Germany wins the 11th Caterpillar
"Sebastian Behr was here in the Malaga finals also last year and he did really well finishing in the 7th position. This year he took the first place in two out of the eight tests and of course did well in the rest of the tests as well. The Germans, as well as the Nordics and the Dutch have always done very well in this competition but this is the first time we have a German champion," says Bob Brice, the event coordinator.
The country competition was won by Finland followed by the Netherlands and Germany in second and third position respectively.
The Caterpillar Operator Challenge has the reputation of being the toughest competition on earth because "We make it tough", Bob Brice says. "This year the event was particularly tough as we've purposely made all the tests harder than in the past. We also used a large range of equipment ranging from mini excavators and multi terrain loaders all the way to large wheel loaders and off highway trucks. I feel the competitors appreciated that." All tests corresponded to real life applications and demanded precise movements, articulate discipline and high levels of concentration.
Overall there were eight machine tests: truck loading with a large wheel loader, basement excavation with a track-type loader, finish grading with a small track-type tractor, load and haul production with a front shovel excavator and an off highway truck, site utilities with a multi terrain loader and a compact wheel loader, confined operation with a compact radius mini excavator, road construction with a motor grader and GPS guidance system with a large excavator.
Even though the event was demanding, many teams and competitors enjoyed their time in Malaga: "For me this week has been great. Everything has been organized with a lot of care and attention. Even if I'm here for the competition, it's not all about just that, it's also about being part of all this and having an opportunity try out all these machines that I never would have an occasion to operate back home."
The Caterpillar Operator Challenge 2008 hosted 20 countries. The top operators from Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom competed for the championship title. To reach the Malaga finals the participants first had to win a series of local and national events; based on the results, each country sent the best operators to represent their country in Malaga. The local Cat dealer events were open to all experienced operators.
Peter van Schaik
Country league results