Johannes Unger from Austria has claimed the title of ‘Europe’s best operator’ for the second time in one of the construction industry’s toughest tests of precision operation, the Operators Club Final. The competition was held this year in Alicante, Spain.
On Saturday 21st October, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) pitted 29 of Europe’s finest operators against each other in the epic battle of speed, precision and technique that is the Operators Club Final.
After a year of gruelling local heats, the event saw finalists from 15 countries across Europe – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine – come face to face in the Volvo Ocean Race village in the port of Alicante, Spain, 24 hours before the start of the 2017-2018 race.
First the operators had to pick up three basketballs from a rack and drop them into containers using a Volvo L25F compact wheel loader fitted with a pallet fork attachment.
Then the competitors had to drop three metal balls into a pipes of differing lengths using a Volvo ECR35D compact excavator and catch them again in the machine’s bucket. Both tasks were performed to time with penalties added for mistakes. The operators with the 10 quickest times took part in a grand final. This was similar to the first challenge, except the competitors had three minutes to move as many basketballs as they could, with different numbers of points available from each of the three containers.
Johannes Unger from Austria secured the top spot on the winner’s podium by scoring an impressive 30 points. He was followed by Sascha Moog from Germany and Ueli Hunziker from Switzerland, who scored 25 and 22 points respectively.