Bismarck Public Works prepares its snow fighters with "roadeo"

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BISMARCK, N.D. - While Bismarck was spared from too much snow last year, the city's Public Works is preparing for the worst this year, and having some fun doing it.

Winter is coming. To get ready, BPW held the 5th Annual Snow Fighting Equipment Roadeo.

Jay Bushee has only been moving snow for a year, but he's competing as best he can against some of the veterans.

"It's a little overwhelming competing against some of the guys that have been here for 20, 20 years plus, you know, because I'm a new guy. But I'm going to get out there and try my best to show them up," says Bushee.

"It gives us a chance to make it competitive among some of the older people here and some of the new guys that don't get to run some of the other equipment. It shows us what they can do on the equipment as well," says Chad Schiermeister, equipment operator.

While the competition is supposed to be fun, it also gives machine operators a chance to work on skills that may have gotten rusty.

"Kind of a little friendly competition, just to break the tension too," says Mike Scully, equipment operator.

Workers are put to the test with several challenges per piece of heavy machinery. In one challenge, equipment operators were asked to knock a small red block off a pedestal, with a very large tractor, without stopping and and without hitting any obstacles.

"We know what's coming up, so it gives us a chance to get out here and get our hands on the levers and buttons and whatnot," says Scully.

Bushee hasn't been tested too much on the roads yet, but he anticipates a real challenge this year.

"I believe we're going to have a bad winter, so I think that it's a good idea to get prepared and get ready for the winter," says Bushee.

No matter how bad the weather is this year, these operators say they'll be prepared.

Organizers say RDO Equipment, Butler Machinery, Bobcat of Mandan, General Equipment and Titan Machinery all pitched in to make the day possible.​