The best-of-the-best heavy equipment operators in central and north Florida descended on Ring Power Cat for a two-day operator challenge June 19 and 20 at the company’s Tampa, Fla., location.

The challenge was part of the overall Cat 2019 Global Operator Challenge in which the winner advances to the North American Regional Finals in Clayton, N.C., in October to compete with other regional finalists. The regional champions then advance to compete against operators from other regions and contestants from around the world at the Cat Global Finals at ConExpo in Las Vegas in 2020.

Operators had to pass a pre-qualifier course first to participate in the competition. If they did, they were then put to the test on three different tasks using a Caterpillar compact track loader, Caterpillar wheel loader and Caterpillar excavator, with each task providing various challenges and varying degrees of difficulty. Ring Power provided each contestant with a special edition 2019 Operator Challenge commemorative coin and ballcap in appreciation of their participation.

Over the two-day challenge, 38 operators put their skills on display during the finals. Awards were given out each day and the overall scores for both days were announced at the conclusion of day two.

The Greek operator Theodoros Fetsis of AAA Services, Clearwater, Fla., took first place and was awarded the $500 prize and a Cat cooler. Kenny Billings of Cypress Gulf, Tampa, Fla., took the second place and coming in at third place in the competition was Mike Myers, of Lakeland, Fla.

Theodoros Fetsis has been continuously putting his skills on display and he still continues to contribute voluntarily to highly demanding projects