Republic Services held its first national championship truck and technician ROAD-EO competition Friday in Phoenix.
Drivers and technicians from around the U.S. competed in a rigorous skills competition which involved a series of driving and diagnostic tests that determined national champions in five distinct categories. Winners are posted below.
“Our drivers love it. It’s all about employee engagement and our drivers love the opportunity to compete against each other, and it gives us as a company an opportunity to recognize what they do for us each and every day,” Jim Olson, Republic’s vice president of safety and environmental compliance, told fox10phoenix.com.
Forty of Republic’s 15,000 drivers earned the opportunity to compete in the National Championship by winning their respective local competitions. These top drivers competed in one of four truck categories: Front Load, Side Load, Roll-Off and Rear Load. The competition consists of seven timed challenges that replicate the obstacles that drivers experience on their routes, from backing up in a narrow alleyway to navigating tight turns.
The technician competition involved 10 technicians from around the country who also won their respective local competitions. Their competition consisted of diagnostic tests on a Roll-Off truck, where competitors are challenged with identifying 10 vehicle problems in an allotted amount of time.
In addition to bragging rights with their friends and fellow drivers and technicians, the first and second place winners in each of their respective categories received a cash award, additional paid time-off, and other special gifts and amenities.
Republic has been steadily building on its industry-leading safety program, beginning with a 42 percent better safety performance record than the industry average, based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration data, over the past eight years. Since 2009, Republic drivers have won 18 of the 24 National Waste & Recycling Association “Driver of the Year” awards. In addition, last year, over 12,000 employees earned Republic’s Dedicated to Safety Award, and more than 5,000 employees received Republic’s Dedicated to Excellence recognition.
“Safety is at the center of everything we do,” said Don Slager, president and CEO. “We recruit the best drivers with the strongest safety records and talented technicians with outstanding mechanical knowledge.
“Every day, these men and women are responsible for maintaining highly engineered, sophisticated pieces of heavy equipment in order to provide total reliability while safely navigating through our neighborhoods, serving our 14 million customers and collecting over 5 million tons of recycling and waste materials. What better way to celebrate our commitment to safety than by having our best drivers and technicians showcase their skills and really find out who’s the best-of-the-best.”