With the turn of a key and a kick of the starter, Len Mackowiak of Midwest Masonry in Mundelein, Ill., rode off with a new Harley Davidson Super Glide and the championship crown of the 2009 Telehandler Skills Challenge at this years World of Concrete expo in Las Vegas.

Pettibone, now celebrating its 129th year as a leader in material handling industry, further demonstrated its commitment to operators by sponsoring the event for the second straight year. A record number of operators participated in the three-day event and excitement ran high as 10 contestants advanced to the semifinals in the first two days.

Operators were able to choose from two Pettibone telehandler series machines. The Extendo, fixed pivot, or the Traverse, transfer capable. After receiving a five-point walk-around on the machine detailing Pettibone's key advantages, each operator inspected their machine and demonstrated all functions for the judges before sounding their horn to start the official timing.

The first challenge operators faced dealt with depth perception. From a fixed location, competitors needed to extend the boom forward and retrieve three 2x6 boards placed on saw horses at various forward reaches in front of the machine. After loading all three boards onto the forks and fully retracting the boom, the operator had to again extend and replace the boards to their original locations.

The second challenge tested landing height perception. The operator maneuvered the machine down a narrow lane to the base of a Hydro-Mobile scaffolding system before raising the boom and extending. The operator was required to place the forks into a box resting on the top of the scaffolding. Once properly inserted, lights in the box illuminated to signal the task had been completed. Once the machine was returned to the starting location and the operator sounded the horn, the timing was complete. Judges recorded their time, adjusted for any penalties, and entered a final score.

The third day of competition saw the field narrowed to two finalists that competed for the grand prize of a 2009 Harley Davidson Super Glide Motorcycle and second place $500.00 Visa gift card. This year's champion Len Mackowiak, with a time of 2 minutes 53 seconds, beat second place finisher Wayne Sheffield of HJK Masonry in Pasadena, Md., by a full eight seconds.

Pettibone vice president Pete Haikio was on hand to congratulate the new champion and award the grand prize. "Pettibone is honored to sponsor such an event where operators can be recognized for excellence and dedication in their industry," says Haikio. "All the competitors deserve a round of applause."

For more information, visit www.gopettibone.com.