The RTITB International Forklift Operator of the Year 2016 competition was held over four days at the International Materials Handling Exhibition IMHX 2016. 40 operators participated from all over the world to have a chance in the Grand Final. This will happen at the headquarters of the RTITB in the early 2017.
September 16th was the last day of the competition which partnered with UniCarriers and McCue. Philip Contento of Convatec made it in the Grand Final even after having the lowest total score at the end of the day. Simon Bottomley, who was the day 4 runner up, was also able to earn one of the spots in the Grand Final.
On the last day of the event, the 10 remaining operators underwent four different assessments. These included two practical tests which were the Fun Factory and the Explosive Mixer. In addition, they completed a pre-use inspection and a final test of their knowledge in operator theory. This year, TruckLOG, Transaid, B & B Attachments, Pyroban, and DOLAV and Racking & Storage Solutions sponsored the tests.
Aside from the RTITB staff and sponsors, there were also a lot of supporters that watched the 2016 competition. Among them are Forkliftaction.com, BACA Workwear, SHD Logistics, JSM, FSDF, UKWA, and BITA.
2008 saw the inception of the RTITB Operator of the Year competition. Over the years, it has continuously evolved and expanded as it became one of the most sought after honor in the industry. This year, however, marks the first international event as it welcomed participants from three continents who entered the initial online test.
The list of finalists is as follows:
- Mike Hunt, trained and employed by Wilko Retail Ltd
- Paul Collins, trained and employed by Wilko Retail Ltd
- Maciej Winiecki, trained and employed by Wilko Retail Ltd
- Dale Smith, trained and employed by Wilko Retail Ltd
- Stephen Hawkridge, trained and employed by PPG
- Craig Powell, trained and employed by PPG
- Simon Bottomley, trained by Manx Industrial Training Services and employed by Nasaleze
- Philip Contento, trained and employed by Convatec
- Benjamin Chamberlain, trained and employed by Clarke International
- Joe McKeown, trained and employed by Nutricia