June 1, 2014

Might be out of season, but Windham plow drivers represented - By Jim Beers

On May 14th the town of Windham sent three two-man teams to the 2014 Cumberland County Snowplow Rodeo. Competing against 20 other teams, Windham had their work cut out for them on a very difficult, technical course. "This is the twelfth one I've been to," said Mike Constantine, Highway Maintenance Supervisor. "And it was probably the toughest, tightest course I've ever seen." 

Each driver and his wingman had to navigate their truck with a plow and wing through obstacle stations with only inches to spare on each side. The Rodeo featured 10 to 12 stations all varying in snowplow driving skills. In some of the stations, drivers had to negotiate a parked car, mailboxes, a diminishing alley, drop the plow blade into a box, alley dock, oblong circle/cul-de-sac, slalom, fire hydrant, parking meter and raise/lower the wing over changing height objects--all the while making sure the truck never stopped throughout the station. The two-man team then switched roles, (driver/wingman), and tackled the course again. 

Windham placed all three teams in the top 10, at second, sixth and ninth respectively. "Very tough competition again this year," said Constantine. "For our three teams to finish in the top 10 is very impressive. The team that finished ninth was in second place until one penalty knocked them all the way back to ninth. That shows you how close the points were within the top ten teams." 

For the second place team of Dave Rampino and Chris Hodgdon, they qualified to go to the State Championships in Skowhegan on June 5th. If they do well there, they will be on their way to Colorado to compete in the Nationals. 

Cumberland won the Snowplow Rodeo and will be joined by Portland and Windham in Skowhegan, representing Cumberland County. The sixth place team consisted of Mike Fardon and Jamey Leighton. Steve Prescott and Matt Millett placed ninth for Windham. 

"Every county in Maine will be represented at States," said Constantine. "The DOT and Maine Turnpike will also have teams there. In past years Portland has sent some teams to Nationals, this year we are hoping Windham gets that chance."

PICTURED: Second place finishers Dave Rampino and Chris Hodgdon.

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