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A Fun, Competitive Event that Promotes the Safe & Efficient Operation of Forklifts!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Springfield/Clark County Safety Council (SCCSC) conducted its’ first forklift rodeo in 1994 as a modest, county-wide event. Under its’ own momentum & with national, & even international attention the event has come to be known as the U.S. Open Forklift Rodeo, a “National Championship” event!

Recently the forklift rodeo concept has attracted international interest starting with recent “Springfield Style” events conducted in Lisbon, Portugal & Baltimore, Maryland. See their “kudos” on the website listed below. Another is in the making in the United Kingdom (UK). All three countries will be represented at the 2009 U.S. Open, the U.K. observing in preparation for an early 2010 event! Participants from around the United States are also signing on!

The “Springfield Style” rodeo format features two-person team & individual competition. Team competition determines the team championship recognized by the team championship trophy & a Keytroller sponsored (105) Vehicle Monitoring, Keyless Ignition System. Every participating, individual “cowboy / gaucho” operator is in the running for individual “Top Gun” status that brings a cash prize & trophy awards. The competition is based on low score (time) wins with penalties factored in based on operator driving errors (add time) & a quiz derived from a previously issued Master Question File (MQF), correct answers deduct time. Speed is controlled by the design of tight course layouts & rules that seriously penalize careless operating. The “Springfield Style” format is recognized for serious attention to the rules!

Two operator divisions are in use, a Championship Division for those with less competition experience & a second Master Operator Division made up of former Championship victors. Each Rodeo currently advances the top three U.S. Open Championship Division operators to “Master Operator” status. They are presented & receive the right to wear a distinctive Master Operator jacket & compete in future Rodeos as Master Operators. This feature serves to open up future Championship Division opportunity!

Once the aggregate individual scores of both divisions are tallied & the overall, top six (6) operators are identified, they compete in a concluding, exciting “shootout” to determine the overall individual “Top Gun” & the award of a $500 cash award!

Each participating company receives a “Team Handbook” that includes:

  1. General Information & Instruction
  2. Rodeo Rules
  3. Course Layouts & Operating instructions
  4. Master Question File (MQF)
  5. Course Official’s Guide which provides operators & team captains etc. some insight to what is expected.

Finally, we are pleased to announce the expansion of the “Safety Expo” feature which will include safety related vendor activities for both adults & youth. Count on a busy, interesting time while attending to watch the Rodeo competition. So, “pony up,” sign up & plan to root for your operator / team & enjoy the experience!

For more details please visit the U.S. Open Forklift Rodeo & Safety Expo website via, or Or call or Email The Higgins Group, Inc. (rodeo facilitator) at 937/325-7858 or Email There is information on the website regarding team registration, event sponsorships, Safety Expo vendors, lodging, video & scenes from previous events & much more. You can actually register on the website! Once a team registers we will forward the traditional Team Handbook that will enable you to prepare for this challenging, educational, fun event.

- Don Amburgey, Chairman

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