IMHX Day 1: RTITB International Operator of the Year Heats Kickoff

It was a day of firsts on Tuesday 13th September as the International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) 2016 opened its doors, and the first RTITB International Operator of the Year competition commenced.

The IMHX once again played hosts to RTITB’s industry celebrated competition, which will see forty operators from across the world compete in a series of heats throughout the week to earn one of ten finale places, where they will battle it out to be crowned champion.

This year’s competition has been partnered by McCue, who have provided FlexCore pedestrian safety barriers, and UniCarriers who provided the Counterbalance ET trucks which will be used by competitors throughout the heats.

Each operator competed in four tests, including a pre-use inspection, theory knowledge assessment and two practical operating tests (Explosive Mixer and Fun Factory). This year’s tests have been themed according to RTITB’s competition test sponsors Pyroban, Transaid, TruckLOG, DOLAV and Racking & Storage Solutions. B & B Attachments once again supported the competition, as the attachment sponsor.

The day concluded with Kris Scarborough from Wilko Retail Ltd being announced as the overall winner of today’s heat, and Adam Hayes, Travis Perkins, as the runner up. Both will move forward to the Grand Final, to be held at RTITB’s headquarters in Shropshire in early 2017.

On Friday, the next two operators with the lowest marking scores who did not earn a place in their individual heat, will also move forward to the Grand Final.

Since 2008, RTITB has held the bi-annual Operator of the Year competitions, celebrating the skills, safety and professionalism of lift truck operators from across the UK. This year, RTITB opened up entries to operators across the world, and today’s heat included an operator from the USA, showing how RTITB are keen to celebrate operators internationally, as well as within the UK industry. This heat also included Srinivasa Devappa, winner of the Praguna India Forklift Operator of the Year Competition, who was also trained by Praguna.

The competition will continue throughout the duration of the IMHX event, ending on Friday 16th September. For further information on the competition, visit, or follow on Twitter (@opofyear) or Facebook – RTITB Operator of the Year Competition. Visit stand 9A40 to watch the heats in action.


Heat one’s finalist line up was:

Adam Hayes, trained and employed by Travis Perkins

Chuck Long, trained and employed by Boise Cascade

Gary Boocock, trained and employed by Wincanton

Jan Kontul, trained and employed by Diageo Global Supply

Kris Scarborough, trained and employed by Wilko Retail Ltd

Kristian Sherratt, trained and employed by Travis Perkins

Madalina Ciobota, trained and employed by Wincanton

Phillips Padley, trained by and employed by Wilko Retail Ltd

Richard Dunn, trained by and employed by Wilko Retail Ltd

Srinivasa Devappa, trained by Praguna