Martz Bus recently held its first Bus Roadeo in the parking lot of the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Preliminary Roadeos were held over the past two months at the Martz Bus locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida, with the first- and second-place winners at those events being invited to the championship round June 27.
The finals started with a 10-question written test. The drivers then walked the five-event course, which included a left hand turn, left hand reverse, serpentine, off-set street, and diminishing clearance. Each driver then picked a number out of the hat to determine the order of competition.
Drivers were given the opportunity to adjust their mirrors before their pre-trip inspection. They then took to the course, where they were judged on successfully completing each event without being penalized for knocking over the cones, which had tennis balls atop them to minimize any interpretation from the judges.
Came down to a tiebreaker
Time for the course portion was kept as a tiebreaker. Prizes were a first-place trophy and $300 gift card; second-place trophy and $200 gift card; third-place trophy and $100 gift card; and plaques for fourth through sixth place and $25 gift cards.
Tony Hess, of Pennsylvania, took home first place with a score of 420 out of 500 and a time of 6:52. Robert Rittenhouse, of Pennsylvania, tied with Tony at 420 points but finished with a time of 7:15. Greg Drozdowski, from the Martz, Florida, facility finished third. The other contestants were Earmon Smith, of Maryland, fourth place; Mark Patsos, of Florida, fifth place; and Steven Smith, of Maryland, sixth place.
“This event focused on our drivers competing in a controlled environment demonstrating their skills at safely maneuvering a motorcoach bus. Safety is the very essence of our company’s existence,” said Sal Caccavale, Corporate Director of Safety and Training for Martz Bus. “This was a chance for all our competitors from the regional events to the finals to show how well they can safely operate their motor coach. We (Martz) are really pleased with this, being our first event.”
Nearly 40 friends, family and co-workers were on hand to cheer on the participants and enjoy some barbecue from Butcher Bob’s Food Truck.