Four-time champion dominates at National Excavator Competition

Otago’s Troy Calteaux has emerged as NZ’s top digger driver at the Civil Contractors NZ CablePrice National Excavator Operator Competition

Troy Calteaux doing the tea pouring challenge as part of the CCNZ CablePrice National Excavator Operator Competition

The Milton local and Andrew Haulage 2011 Ltd employee became the first person to win the competition four times and the first to win three titles in a row.

He took the title over Waikato champion Michael Brown of Fulton Hogan, while last year’s runner-up Steven George of Northland finished in third place.

Troy Calteaux of Milton (centre) won a historic fourth title at the Civil Contractors New Zealand CablePrice National Excavator Operator Competition. He’s pictured here with runner-up Michael Brown (right) and third-place finisher Steven George (left).

Troy says the win felt great — all the more so because of the nerves of competing for his fourth title in what he knew would be a very close competition.

"This year has been an awesome one. The competitors have been wicked — a mean group," he says. This year’s event marked the 30th anniversary of the excavator-skills clash and featured a serious upgrade to the usual tests of on-the-job skills and crowd-pleasing activities.

Two scoops or 20? Runner-up Michael Brown of Fulton Hogan nails the ice cream challenge.

Competitors amazed fans in new challenges, including scooping ice cream into a cone without damaging it using a newly designed scoop attachment.

Runner-up Michael Brown of Fulton Hogan put in an impressive showing on the ice cream challenge in his first shot at nationals. A classic ‘dark horse’ competitor, Michael flew under the radar to lead the pack at the end of day one of the two-day competition.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon tests the Connect Challenge

"I did not expect this at all. Thanks to my wife Megan, to the sponsors, all the guys out on the course, to the competitors, they’re a good bunch. And a real special thank you to my father… for giving me a love of machines," he says.

Invercargill local Brad Fallow of SouthRoads won the Geoff Duff Memorial Trophy. The award, which recognises the person demonstrating the best scores across the truck-loading challenges featured in the competition, commemorates Geoff Duff of Carterton — a former nationals judge and a highly-skilled truck driver.

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