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UW’s Russell Austin Earns Second Place in National Equipment Competition

October 12, 2015
bobcat front-end loader scooping basketball off traffic cone
Russell Austin scoops a basketball off of a traffic cone at the National Snow Roadeo. (Fred Synnestvedt Photo)

Russell Austin maneuvered a Bobcat into a tight space, scooped a basketball off of a traffic cone with his loader, spun around and unloaded the basketball into a tire.

For his efforts in this event and others, Austin, the assistant manager of Equipment Services at the University of Wyoming Physical Plant, took second place in the recent National Snow Roadeo at the annual American Public Works Association Snow and Ice Conference in Loveland, Colo.

Austin, a Physical Plant employee for more than 31 years, also scored highly in a slalom course and other events at the Roadeo, in which he competed against the nation’s best and most experienced equipment operators. The program tests equipment knowledge and skills in a competitive setting. 

“Each event includes a diagnostic vehicle inspection and a timed obstacle course,” Austin says, noting that snow operations are a high priority at UW. He says it’s important for people in the snow business to learn the latest technologies and snow fighting strategies, as well as network and share ideas with colleagues.

The recent national conference was an opportunity for UW to talk with vendors about new products and catch up on the latest innovations available for snow operations.

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