Blackhawk Transport sets annual truck rodeo, details obstacles, events

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People are invited to come cheer on their favorite truck drivers at Blackhawk Transport Inc.s Truck Rodeo set for 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Blackhawk Technical College parking lot.

Drivers will go through some tight obstacles in a closed track much to the delight of their families and fans.

We bring many of our drivers who represent various regions into Beloit for a championship. We give away three prizes to the best drivers, but the true prize is the bragging rights with the other drivers, said Kevin McGrath, vice president of dedicated operations. Its a fun family event for our employees.

McGrath said most family members come out and watch their loved ones compete and root for them. The competition starts at 9 a.m., followed by a lunch and awards ceremony at 11:30 a.m. and events conclude at 1:30 p.m. There are 20 to 24 drivers expected to compete.

Blackhawk Transport Inc. held its first rodeo last year. A safety event, the rodeo engages drivers to take an active role and helps them demonstrate their skills. This year the event is open to the community.

The rodeo consists of a written and driving competition and more.

For example, one of the tasks is performing a pre-trip inspection.

There will be a couple small flaws on the truck which will be difficult to find such as low air pressure or fluids or a faulty light.

During the driving portion of the competition drivers will have to drive between tight partitions, turn and come back through without bumping a partition. They also will be scored on how well they can do 90 degree turns.

McGrath said its a great way for the drivers to show what they can do.

The guys who do it very well take pride in what they do. If they get a great score they are proud of it, McGrath said.

Blackhawk Transport has 33 locations across the United States, with its Beloit location at 1431 Manchester Road. It will be moving to the former Turtle Town Hall site, on the corner of Gateway Boulevard and Town Hall Road, along with Corporate Contractors Inc. (CCI).

Both companies, which are part of Hendricks Holding Company and were founded by Diane Hendricks and the late Ken Hendricks, have experienced strong growth necessitating the move and will benefit from a location closer to the interstate.

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