Each year John Deere gives operators an opportunity to experience machines firsthand through sponsoring the John Deere Operator Challenge this year held at the Bronze Lot at the LVCC. This year marks the 17th year of sponsorship of the event, held annually in conjunction with World of Concrete.

The event challenges operators to complete a variety of tasks within a set amount of time to score points while avoiding penalties. Prizes are awarded daily to the top operator for each machine.

Attendees can compete in the challenge throughout the show, but are only allowed to participate once per a day. Once an attendee becomes a daily winner on a machine, they are not eligible to win on that same machine again throughout the duration of the show. Attendees can register onsite during the outdoor area show hours. All attendees must sign a waiver prior to compete on any of themachines.

After first debuting the Operator Challenge with just a four-wheel drive loader, John Deere has added more equipment challenges over the years. The current Operator Challenge now consists of four equipment types: backhoes, excavators, loaders and skid steers.

The backhoe and excavator challenges consists of operators moving the boom and arm of parked machines, scooping balls off of cones, dipping balls into buckets and smoothly working controls, all while battling the clock.

Also timed, the four-wheel loader challenge asks operators to move the machine through a serpentine, outlined by cones and traffic barrels. As they drive, they must move the right tire up a ramp and drop a soccer ball into a barrel. While it may seem simple, this challenge is deceivingly difficult! As the final piece of the challenge, operators much hook a barrel handle using a strap tied to the bucket, requiring expert precision to maneuver the bucket, move the barrel and unlatch the hook.

Finally, the skid steer challenge includes maneuvering through a serpentine, executing a 180-degree turn without touching the bordering barrels and a machine back-up station. Additionally, operators must complete soccer smack! This piece of the challenge requires the operator to hit the ball with the side of the bucket to make the ball rolls into a goal cage

Think you have what it takes? Come take on all of the challenges in the Bronze Lot during World of Concrete!