Most people have likely heard the expression, “boys and their toys,’ knowing that a lot of boys, and men, enjoy playing with big toys.
Some even get to compete with them and Craig County hometown man Jeremiah Law is one of them.
The Virginia Department of Transportation hosts its annual state Equipment RoadEO contest for operators to compete.
“There are a lot of competitors every year,” Law shared. “I wouldn’t even know where to start on how many competes, but I know every operator that works for state has the opportunity to sign up and it varies every year on the people that actually do. They will break Virginia up into nine different districts and it’s roughly 50 people per district that signs up for Backhoe so probably around 450 – 500 competitors across the state.”
The nine winners of each district then proceed to Richmond to compete at the state competition.
Law said that he first learned about the competition when he started working at VDOT over six years ago.
“I decided to enter because of my competitive nature,” he added. “I enjoy getting to compete and meet new people and other operators that I usually don’t get to see until that time of year.”
This was Law’s third time he had entered the annual competition, but the first time that he had ever won for the district and got the opportunity to compete at the state level.
“I have worked with all types of heavy equipment throughout my career with the state and even beyond that around the house on my dad’s equipment,” Law shared. “But growing up and helping him out, my experience with equipment probably goes back to when I was around 10 years old.”
He added with a chuckle, “I especially loved using my dad’s backhoe to smash the trunks in tight on my demolition derby cars.”
The competition brackets started with competing against the bridge crews. After Law won that competition, he competed against all the other winners across the district. Again, he won, and that win took him to Richmond to compete on the state level.
“I came in second place in the state which was good enough for me to get to go forward to compete for the regional which will be held in Louisiana,” Law said. “I will be competing against all the other states now.”
Law shared that he won trophy plaques for each event.
He added with a laugh, “Some said I should be getting some extra vacation time off for each event and I got to meet the commissioner of the state. Also, when I go to compete in state, I get a free trip to Baton Rouge. There will probably be trophies at state as well as a ton of bragging rights for the winner.”
Law will be competing against the other state winners from Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
“I usually try to not work myself up on how good my competition is,” Law shared. “I only focus on doing the best that I can possibly do myself and everything else that follows is out of my control.”