Dot Foods announces winners of 2022 Forklift Rodeo National Championships


Winiban Irigoyen, of the Dot Foods Mount Sterling location, was the winner of the order picker competition. He is pictured with Fred Scott, warehouse manager of Dot Foods Georgia, who chaired the Forklift Rodeo committee this year. | Photo courtesy of Dot Foods, Inc.

MOUNT STERLING, Ill. — Dot Foods, Inc., the largest food industry redistributor in North America, congratulates employees Winiban Irigoyen, Dot Foods Mount Sterling; Robert Miller, Dot Foods Oklahoma; Alex Lopez, Dot Foods Idaho; and Kendall Ebersole, Dot Foods Maryland. All four winners took home the top prizes in the company’s 2022 Forklift Rodeo National Championships held at its Mount Sterling headquarters. 

This event returned to the company’s Mount Sterling headquarters after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. Each of Dot’s 12 distribution centers holds a regional event, and the companywide national championship brings those finalists from all locations together to compete at the national level. The winners receive a trophy and large prizes, with the first-place finisher on each piece of equipment earning a free vacation.

In a press release, John Long, senior VP of warehousing, said “The Forklift Rodeo showcases the expertise of our warehouse staff, who are the best in the industry. The event shines a light on their safety skills, and it recognizes the incredible job they do every day and night. It’s a lot of fun for the participants – and really the entire company –  and a great example of the supportive culture here at Dot.” 

All four winners showed their mastery of job duties and safety practices by completing an obstacle course using one of four pieces of material-handling equipment: narrow aisle, sit down/stand up forklift, order selector and pallet jack. Contestants are penalized for contacting walls, improper stops, incorrect horn usage and dropping a basketball balanced on a trash can that represents an order.  

Ebersole of Martinsburg, W.Va., won the narrow aisle competition. Lopez of Burley, Idaho, won the sit down/stand up forklift competition. Irigoyen of Beardstown won the order picker competition, and Miller of Ardmore, Okla., won the pallet jack category. The winners receive a travel voucher, and Dot pays for the trip of their choice. 

“Our warehouse teams play a big role in keeping America fed,” Long said. “They have a challenging job on the best of days, and that work has been a lot more challenging the past couple of years. We were excited to have everyone together again at our Mount Sterling headquarters to celebrate them and the return of our national championship.” 

Dot Foods, Inc. carries 125,000 products from 1,020 food industry manufacturers, making it the largest food industry redistributor in North America.

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