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Team Rogue members heading to 2019 Road-E-O nationals

Two drivers, an operator and a mechanic from Rogue Disposal & Recycling and Dry Creek Landfill competed at one of this year’s regional Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) competitions — with three of them moving on to the national competition scheduled for October 25 in Glendale, Arizona.

The SWANA Road-E-O is an annual event that promotes safety and skill in the solid waste industry. Front-line employees show off their on-the-job skills operating machinery, driving trucks, and maintaining and repairing equipment. This year’s event also incorporated a half-day learning event on both operator training and driver training.

Meet Team Rogue

Bend, Oregon was the site of the Northwest regional Road-E-O competition. Rogue Disposal & Recycling was led by Rick Rock and Manny Zamarripa, while Chris Anderson and Zach Clark brought it home for Dry Creek Landfill.

Zack took first place in the Compactor division, and was also selected as “Top Gun” of the event — the top operator overall. Joining him on the Team Rogue national squad are Chris Anderson, who took second in the Mechanic division, and Rick Rock, who placed second in the Side Loader division. Manny Zamarripa, competing in the Roll-Off Driver division, finished just out of the awards. But according to Denise Barnes, one of the Rogue Waste employee volunteers at the event, “he wins in our book for best attitude!”

Putting their skills to the test

All competitors completed a written test, a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) pre-trip inspection, and either a driving obstacle course or a troubleshooting exercise. Winners were determined by the highest combined score for the day’s events.

For waste trucks, there were contestants from six different teams: Cascade Disposal, City of Olympia, Lane County, Republic Services, Rogue Disposal & Recycling, and Waste Management. Competition was held in three categories: front loader (commercial route), roll off (industrial route), and side loader (residential route).

In the landfill category, there were contestants representing nine different entities: Cascade Disposal, Deschutes County, Dirt Hugger, Lane County, Marion County, Republic Services, Rogue Disposal & Recycling, Waste Management, and Wasco County Landfill. Competition was held in five categories: compactor, dozer, excavator, front-end wheel loader, and mechanic.

So what did the competition look like? For drivers, there was a series of seven events to complete. One event, for example, was a serpentine around barrels that tested the driver’s ability to maneuver the truck in and out of tight places — both forwards and backwards. Each driver started with 50 points, but lost 5 points every time they stopped and lost 15 points if they hit a barrel or crossed the curb line of the street. For landfill operators, there was also a series of seven events to complete. As an example, one event had drivers maneuvering through barrels placed 4’ wider than their machine without coming in contact with the barrels or mounds of soil that had been distributed on the course — and the end of the machine they were driving had to completely clear the barrels in order to earn points.

Cheering on their team

Six staff members from Rogue Waste made the trip to Bend to volunteer at the event as well as support their team. Denise Barnes, Holly Deemer, Bekah Domis, Laura Leebrick, Ashley Schaaf and Jennifer Stuber did everything from helping the event coordinator to judging the driving course and scoring the landfill operator course.

Congratulations to all the Rogue Disposal & Recycling and Dry Creek Landfill competitors. Great job and good luck at nationals!

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