From the 13th-16th September, the top 40 forklift drivers from across the world competed at the RTITB International Operator of the Year 2016 heats at the IMHX 2016, partnered with Unicarriers and McCue.
For the first time ever, female forklift operators have qualified for the Grand Finals of the competition, alongside the youngest competitor yet, 18-year old Thomas Birkbeck, an apprentice engineer for KP Snacks. It is also the first time an international competitor has reached the Grand Final, with India Forklift Operator of the Year winner Srinivasa N D moving forward to the next stage.
The competition was fierce, with each forklift operator completing four assessments - two practical tests (Explosive Mixer and Fun Factory), a pre-use inspection and a test of their operator theory knowledge. This years' tests were sponsored by Pyroban, Transaid, TruckLOG, DOLAV, Racking & Storage Solutions and B&B Attachments.
They usually have only 10 Grand Finalists, but with such a wealth of talent in the heats, they decided there were 12 operators deserving of a place in the next stage of the competition. The 12 Grand Finalists are as follows:
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