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Meet Your Australia Global Operator Challenge Finalists

Australia Global Operator Challenge Finalists

They began by demonstrating their superior skills at local competitions at Cat® dealerships around the world. Having defeated their peers, they will now move on to the regional semi-final competitions where they will take on even tougher challengers, seeking to break through for a chance to compete in the final in Las Vegas.

Caterpillar initially kicked off its Global Operator Challenge in 2019, hosting more than 10,000 entrants from 30 countries before selecting nine of the world’s most talented equipment operators to compete at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 in Las Vegas. At the conclusion of the event, Jaus Neigum, owner of Industrial Backhoes in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, succeeded in capturing the world champion title.

Now, Caterpillar has once again invited operators from around the world to compete in the Global Operator Challenge 2022/2023 edition. Competitions have been hosted at dozens of Cat dealer sites in nearly 40 countries ahead of the March 2023 finals. The Global Operator Challenge has significantly grown in scope, well beyond the 67 competitions staged over the course of the inaugural event, becoming Caterpillar’s largest construction industry event of its kind.
“More than 80 Cat dealers will host local, one-of-a-kind competitions, celebrating equipment operators and enabling them to showcase their exceptional skills in fun and dynamic ways,” Tony Fassino, group president of Construction Industries, said earlier this year.

“Whether their expertise lies in digging a trench, moving aggregates or managing demolition, our Global Operator Challenge will be demanding for even the most experienced operators.”

From April through to September, the first round of the Global Operator Challenge consisted of local qualifiers, with participants variously required to execute tasks including digging a trench, loading a precise amount of dirt and manoeuvring equipment through different obstacles. Scoring was awarded based on the operator’s skills, safety awareness and efficiency, as well as competence in using integrated technologies on Cat next generation machines (including Cat Payload, Grade, Command and Grade Assist, and rear-view cameras, return to dig and return to carry) to enhance performance.

Australia Global Operator Challenge Finalists
The five Australian finalists – representing Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia – emerged victorious after a tough test of skill and determination. Putting their remarkable operating talents to work, they beat over 100 entrants across the country at dealer events hosted by WesTrac WA, WesTrac NSW, William Adams, Hastings Deering and Cavpower. They displayed impressive speed, accuracy and best overall operating practices over the course of these hard-fought competitions.
The finalists are:

Jake Myers (MLG Oz) – representing WesTrac WA, Western Australia 
Hailing from the Kalgoorlie Goldfields, Jake Myers has always had a keen interest in operating machinery, whether it’s tackling grading projects using the Cat 14M3 motor grader or a weekend cruise on a Harley- Davidson. Jake has over 15 years’ experience working as an operator, and is well equipped with a diverse range of skills that make him a worthy contender in the Global Operator Challenge.
Jake is especially excited about the opportunity to represent Australia, and says winning the challenge and adding to his trophy cabinet would be a great achievement.

Australia Global Operator Challenge Finalists

Jack Divall (Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage) – representing WesTrac NSW, New South Wales
Third-generation heavy machinery operator Jack Divall, from Goulburn, New South Wales, draws on a long family involvement in the earthmoving industry, working in the family business started by his grandfather over 50 years ago. With seven years’ experience as an operator, his favourite machine is the Cat D6T dozer.
Jack knows the family reputation is on the line and aims to bring all of his skills to the fore to take the trophy home.

Patrick Doheny (CRE Group) – representing William Adams, Victoria
Originally from Tipperary in Ireland, Patrick Doheny grew up around machinery, with his father running a plant hire and earthmoving business. Patrick has close to three decades of experience in the industry, having studied civil engineering in Ireland, and working for around 15 years in total in Australia, eventually setting up his own business in Melbourne.
Patrick, who has a penchant for Cat dozers and graders, notes that the Global Operator Challenge provides a fantastic opportunity for operators to compete and showcase their skills.

Aiden Lee (Queensland Electrical Solutions), representing Hastings Deering, Queensland
Growing up in Brisbane, Aiden Lee has been around machinery from a young age, having followed a path that eventually saw him become an electrician by trade. He has a passion for machinery and particularly enjoyed getting
behind the controls of the Cat 320 excavator during the Queensland competition, using features such as Grade Assist.
Having made the most of the opportunity to put his skills to the test at a local level, Aiden is now excited to be moving on to the next stage of the Global Operator Challenge in Japan.

Nick Thompson (Modcon Civil) – representing Cavpower, South Australia
Born in Modbury and growing up in Kapunda, Nick Thompson has had an interest in machinery since childhood, having spent a good deal of time in the sandpit during recess and lunch. He got his start in the industry at the age of 17, initially working in subdivisions, and has around 15 years’ experience in the game.
Nick, who enjoys getting behind the controls of Cat dozers, diggers and graders, is looking forward to again testing his skills in Japan and would be thrilled to make it to the Las Vegas final.

Australia Global Operator Challenge Finalists

These five talented operators will gather in Japan for the Global Operator Challenge regional semi-finals, being staged October 19-20, where they will compete with other Asia Pacific finalists. The competition is guaranteed to be hot as they take on three tough challenges at the Caterpillar Demonstration Centre in Chichibu, northwest of Tokyo.

The top three will then go on to represent the Asia Pacific region, competing against six other finalists from Europe and the Americas at Caterpillar’s outdoor Festival Grounds exhibit during CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023. There the finalists will test their skills to determine who is the best of the best. Over the course of the finals, operators will again take on challenges testing their agility, mental toughness and versatility, as well as their competence in using Cat integrated technologies to enhance machine performance. The crowned champion will be awarded an all-expense VIP trip for two to a global Caterpillar facility of his or her choice.

The Global Operator Challenge is held to test operators’ skills, showcasing their excellence operating Cat construction equipment and ability to master the equipment safely and efficiently. In staging the event, Caterpillar wishes to celebrate the diversity and skill of all the operators around the world who contribute to the success of our industry. The competition also highlights how Cat Next Generation machines are harnessing new technologies to transform job sites around the world, not only increasing productivity, but also delivering enhanced levels of comfort and ease of operation.

For more information about the Global Operator Challenge, contact your local Cat dealer, visit this site for details: and follow the Cat Construction Australia Facebook page.


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