Around the Hamptons: DPW driver steers way to third-place finish in state loader competition

  •  Adam Robbins, an employee with the Easthampton Department of Public Works, placed third in the 2022 Massachusetts Highway Association Loader Operator Skills & Safety Event in Princeton on July 19. —SUBMITTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/28/2022 4:55:10 PM

EASTHAMPTON — A city employee has reverse serpentined his way to a third-place finish at the 2022 Massachusetts Highway Association Driver Skills & Safety Event.

Adam Robbins, a heavy motor equipment operator for the Easthampton Department of Public Works Highway Division, placed third in the loader operator competition among 30 teams and approximately 80 participants from all over Massachusetts.

The event began with a 20-question test, followed by a walk-around inspection of their vehicle to determine if there is equipment missing or loose, and ended with a driving course, which challenges operators to maneuver through obstacles,  including driving backward in a serpentine path through cones. 

“Adam joined our team in the Highway Division last year and has proven himself to be an absolute asset to this department,” said DPW Director Greg Nuttelman. “To place so highly in such a large field of competitors is truly a great accomplishment.”

This event, which was held at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton on July 19, is designed to demonstrate teamwork, safety awareness, and vehicle operating skills in a competitive and fun setting, according to Chris Bouchard, chairman of the event and director of the South Hadley Department of Public Works.  The competition was open to all cities and towns without having to pre-qualify at a county event.  

Any employee of a highway or public works department of a city or town in the state who possesses a valid commercial driver’s license license for a truck event or a 2B hoisting license, which are required to operate backhoes and front-end loaders in Massachusetts, are eligible to compete in the loading event. 

Participants may compete in the wheel loader competition or a single-axle snow plow truck competition or both. 

“It’s valuable driver training … it keeps them sharp,” Bouchard said. “There’s a fun competitiveness to it and competitors have bragging rights for the next year.”

Southampton library hosting kite workshop

Edwards Public Library is hosting a kite making workshop on Saturday, July 30, led by internationally recognized kite educator Glenn Davison. 

In addition to being featured on HGTV and by publications including Kiting Magazine and the Boston Globe, Davison has written more than a dozen books on the art and science of building and flying kites. 

The event begins at 11 a.m. at the library pavilion at 30 East St. in Southampton. All ages are welcome. 

To register, call 413-527-9480.

Bird rehabber coming to library

Wildlife rehabilitator and wildlife biologist Tom Ricardi will be swooping into Westhampton Public Library on Monday, Aug. 1 at 5:30 p.m. to host his ever-popular presentation on birds of prey. 

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair. All ages are welcome. 

The library is at 1 North Road in Westhampton. 

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