Western Washington State Forklift Rodeo Event this Weekend

Professional forklift drivers in Western Washington are invited to Boeing’s Auburn, Wash., facility, on Aug. 21 for the third and final qualifying forklift rodeo before the statewide competition next month. The first two competitions were held in Richland, Wash., on June 19 and in Spokane, Wash., on July 17.

The top five winners from all three events will compete in the 13th Annual Forklift Rodeo to be held at the 59th Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference in Spokane on Sept. 29 and 30. The event is co-sponsored by the Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board and the Department of Labor & Industries.

The forklift rodeos typically draw the best forklift drivers from around the state with the Western Washington competition often filling up quickly with competitors. The rodeos have a limit of 30 drivers.

The competing forklift drivers must first pass a written exam and inspect a forklift before going on to the obstacle course, completing several tasks that include moving pallets, lengths of pipes and cartons, and driving backwards through a slalom course.

The top seven drivers in the regional competitions earn cash prizes ranging from $50 to $300. In the finals, prizes range from $100 to $500 for the top five drivers. The entry fee is $40 for competitors; spectators are welcome and there is no admission charge. Last year’s individual winners included drivers from Boeing and VersaCold, a cold-storage warehousing and distribution firm.