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Hancock and Defiance County Employees Prevail in Roadeo

LIMA (Tuesday May 20, 2014)Employees in the Defiance and Hancock County ODOT garages were named the winners today in the Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 truck and loader roadeo held in Lima.

Winning the truck competition was Tom Mellinger of Hancock County. Mellinger is a seasoned roadeo veteran who has won several times at both the district and state level. Finishing behind Mellinger was Frank Daley, also of Hancock County, with Lance Clifton of Van Wert County finishing third.

The loader competition was won by first-time winner Naylan DeVaux of Defiance County. Finishing second was Daley of Hancock County with John Rinker, also of Hancock County, finishing third.

“It’s a day we set aside to allow our operators to display their skill in equipment operation. It’s not by coincidence that over the last several years, District 1 has produced the statewide winner in both the truck and loader events. We have a talented workforce here and are proud of that,” said Kirk Slusher, ODOT District 1 deputy director.

The roadeo is a friendly competition which pits equipment operators against one another to test their skill in maneuvering equipment through a series of obstacles intended to mimic situations they encounter on the job. Participants are also required to find deliberately-placed mechanical bugs on equipment as part of the pre-trip inspection portion of the competition.


The top-two finishers in the district competition will go on to compete against their coworkers in the statewide competition which will be held in Columbus in September.



For more information contact:
Rhonda Pees, Public Information Officer, at (419) 999-6803
or email


Ohio’s highways are essential to keeping and creating new jobs. With a mission to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining one of the largest transportation networks in the nation. Guided by ethical principles and accountability, ODOT works to improve safety, enhance travel and advance economic development. As a $2.8 billion enterprise, the department wisely invests in its core services of snow and ice removal, annual construction program and highway maintenance operations.​