Thirteen drivers competed in the fourth Midwest Bus & Motorcoach Association Roadeo on July 21 in Elkhart, Indiana. As part of the half-day competition, each driver navigated seven obstacles representing different highway conditions.
The course was set up with equipment from the United Motorcoach Association and organized by Mark Szyperski of On Your Mark Transportation, LLC. In addition to a written exam, the competition involves a behind-the-wheel test in which drivers navigate an obstacle course and execute maneuvers such as the “Serpentine,” “Offset Street” and “Rear Dual Clearance.”
“This helps improve their skills, whether in the city or rural areas, so they can have better driving skills with obstacles and cars and vehicles and people. There are things in the way all the time,” said MBMCA Executive Director Cherie Hime.
Syzperski praised MBMCA for hosting the annual event that promotes roadway safety.
“We were honored to be a part of this great rodeo. I think it shows how forward thinking this Association is to give their drivers an opportunity to test their skills while having fun!” he said.
The champion has the opportunity to advance to the international contest that will take place in February at the 2022 UMA Motorcoach EXPO in Long Beach, California.
The winners for 2021 are:
- First Place: Andy Anderson, Cardinal Transportation, Ohio
- Second Place: Randy Sales, Royal Excursion, Indiana
- Third Place: Andrew Poisson, Vandalia Bus Lines, Illinois
Competitors enjoy interaction
Anderson says his last Roadeo was 25 years ago when he was driving a tractor-trailer. The biggest challenge of this one was the parallel parking and alley docking.
“I got a little overconfident; that’s where I screwed up,” Anderson said.
He began driving commercial vehicles in 1964 and had a 35-year career with the Teamsters while driving buses on and off over the years.
Anderson, who can’t stand retirement, has driven a motorcoach for four years.
“I love driving passengers,” he said.
Sales, who has been driving motorcoaches for 17 years, says he enjoys the interaction with people, as well.
“I love passengers, and that’s really only the reason I drive,” Sales said. “I have fun with the people.”