Masonry Worker Wins Telehandler Skills Challenge

Held in conjunction with the World of Concrete, the 2007 Telehandler Skills Challenge, sponsored by JLG Industries, McConnellsburg, Pa., featured 25 contestants from all over the country. This year's winner, Joe Thomas of Clifford, Pa.-based Knowlton and Sons Masonry, operated a Gradall Model G6-42P to win the second-ever Telehandler Skills Challenge.

For nine years, Thomas has operated telehandlers, and the majority of the time he has used a Gradall. “I can do things with a Gradall that I can't do with any other machine,” he said. For winning first place in the 2007 Telehandler Skills Challenge, Thomas was awarded with a 42-inch plasma TV and a Honda 2500W generator. The second place winner received a Weber grill and Omaha steaks, and third place received a Miller welder. The eight finalists also received a JLG work jacket, and all participants received a T-shirt and JLG scale model.

This was the second consecutive year that a Knowlton and Sons Masonry employee placed in the top three positions during the event. Last year's third place contestant, Darin Mason, was employed at Knowlton and Sons. He also operated a Gradall telehandler.

The Pennsylvania masonry company actually holds a contest among its approximately 25 operators to choose who will represent the company at the World of Concrete event. Mason, who represented the company at last year's event, helped set up and judge this year's Knowlton and Sons competition.