Montrose, COLO.—Montrose County Road and Bridge Department is now home to a national championship motor grader operator. Shan Stratton took home top honors in the motor grader competition and placed third in the skid steer the American Public Works Association’s National Snow Roadeo in Loveland, Colo. Road and bridge operator John Scharnhorst also delivered an impressive performance with a fourth place finish in the motor grader and was sixth overall in the loader.
The roadeo competitions are specific to each piece of equipment (loader, skid steer, and motor grader) and include a diagnostic, course, and written examination. Competitors are then ranked by their cumulative scores. Stratton placed first overall in motor grader with a cumulative score of 1440 points (880 course, 200 diagnostic, 360 written) and led the field by over 50 points. He beat out five-time champion Spencer Esch of the Bureau of Reclamation. Sharnhorst was close behind in fourth with 1225 total points (765 course, 100 diagnostic, and 360 written) in the motor grader. Stratton scored 1640 in the skid steer (1050 course, 150 diagnostic, and 340 written) for a third place finish and Schrnhorst finished with 1400 in the loader (750 course, 250 diagnostic, and 360 written) for sixth overall.
“I am incredibly proud of not only Shan and John, but the entire team,” said Road and Bridge Superintendent Brandon Wallace. “Shan and John are the best at what they do and it shows. We are incredibly fortunate to have that level of talent here at Montrose County. These are the operators that are taking care of our high country roads and roads countywide. Their skills and abilities are not only saving time and money, but helping to create safe roads for our entire county.”
“I am honored to win this award,” said Stratton. “The entire staff works hard year round and I think that the additional time required on the motor grader this year helped me prepare for this competition. I am proud to be able to represent the county at this level. Thank you to my mentors and the great road and bridge team that has helped me learn over the years.”
The 40th annual American Public Works Association Western Snow & Ice Conference and National Snow Roadeo serves as a catalyst for growth and opportunity for all attendees. The conference offers certification, resources, and engagement and fuel attendees’ collective mission of advancing the development of operators, supervisors, and managers in snow operations. County staffers have been attending the conference for the past few years to receive additional training and visit with vendors regarding new technologies and products. This year was the first time operators competed in the roadeo. For more information about Montrose County Road and Bridge, please visit https://www.montrosecounty.net/918/Road-and-Bridge-Montrose.