BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The Mountain State hosted 11 states in the Southeast Regional Roadeo Tuesday, September 26 through Thursday, September 28, 2023, and had a win over 20 years in the making.

“Roadeo” is a training and safety conference where leading operators from each participating state compete against each other on a course made to test their skills. Equipment operators from around the region compete.

It’s really valuable because it demonstrates the skill level of our operators. And they are the best in the country.

Jimmy Wriston | P.E., Secretary of West Virginia Department of Transportation

Participating states take turns holding the conference, and judges from each of the states participate each year in the scoring. This year, the West Virginia Department of Highways transportation workers took home the team trophy and won Best Overall for the first time in 20 years.

Out of the events in the recent history of the WVDOH, one of the most talked about and shared with the people at the Roadeo was a day in 2019 when WVDOH County Administrators were called to a meeting at the State Capitol Complex by Governor Jim Justice, who asked them what they needed to get their jobs done. The County Administrators responded and requested equipment to help get the job done, and Governor Justice made providing the equipment a priority. That equipment can now be seen in all 55 counties on the state’s’ roadways.

Out of the 11 states in the region, West Virginia placed first overall, Tennessee came in second, and South Carolina won third.

The winners of the competition include:

  • Best Overall:  West Virginia (1st), Tennessee (2nd), South Carolina (3rd)
  • Tractor Mower: Steven Ford, South Carolina (1st), Larry Carman, Tennessee (2nd), Jeff Allgood, Virginia (3rd)
  • Tandem Axle Dump Truck: Michael Pannell, Mississippi (1st), Chris Schaar, Tennessee (2nd), T.J. Pulley, Arkansas (3rd)
  • Single Axle Dump Truck: Joe Strickland, West Virginia (1st), Nick Southern, West Virginia (2nd), William Blackwell, South Carolina (3rd)
  • Tractor Truck With Lowboy: Mike Simpson, West Virginia (1st), Chad Loudin, West Virginia (2nd), Michael Carr, Tennessee (3rd)
  • Motor Grader: Scott Burgess, South Carolina (1st), Joshua Williams, South Carolina (2nd), Daniel Evans, North Carolina (3rd)
  • Backhoe: Hunter Butler, Tennessee (1st), Jeremiah Law, Virginia (2nd), John Garrett, West Virginia (3rd)