Talks on Canada-U.S. Forklift Competition Begin

Taking advantage of an opportunity to promote safety, the Canadian Material Handling & Distribution Society (CMHDS) and organizers of the Western Regional in Seattle, Wash., have begun talks about an international, cross-border forklift rodeo competition. CMHDS has been the driving force behind the British Columbia, Canada, Championship Forklift Rally since 1996, the same time that the Washington State forklift rodeos began.

Rob Vetter of Blaine, Wash.,-based IVES Training Group, has provided testing, judging and course designs for both groups over the past five years, and suggested to the respective organizers that an international competition be created. “This year, John Gilder [of CMHDS] decided to take the first step in making it happen by meeting with the Washington state crew in person,” said Vetter.

According to an article in the CMHDS newsletter, Gilder feels the first step is to standardize the events. “We already use the same scoring program developed for the U.S. events, but there are other things we need to work on to get everyone on the same page,” he said. Dan Beer, CMHDS past president and current board member says it would present “a fantastic opportunity” to promote safety on an international scale.

On the U.S. side, Washington State forklift rodeo officials Al Rainsberger and Mark Ribich are interested, as well. “I think it’s a great idea and don’t see any reason why we can’t make this happen,” said Rainsberger. The two groups will continue talks, and officially invite the top three finishers of the October Washington State event to compete at the BC Championship Rally next May in Vancouver, Canada.