The search for the champion plant operator for 2023 is well underway. Operator interest is at an all time high with record numbers of Plant Operator registering for the campaign.

Now in its 3rd successful year, UK Plant Operators Magazine, owns and operates ‘the’ annual event to find the UK plant operator of the year. The event attracts substantial media interest from owners, operators, hirers and contractors.

The event culminates in a final with the winner collecting a cheque for £10,000.

The final will take place at the CITB National Construction College, Kings Lynn on Saturday September 30th.

We are looking forward to a festival of construction, with on-site accommodation available either the night before or night of the event and a programme of entertainment for all the family.

What to Expect on Finals Day

Major manufacturers and distributors will showcase a selection of their range with each category representing a separate challenge for the competing operators. Each competitor will be asked to select a maximum of five actual challenges to compete in.

We will also launch this year, in conjunction with CM Labs, a virtual task on one of the company’s latest simulators. With the software uploaded to feature a unique Telehandler challenge to test the skill and dexterity of the gathered finalist.

In addition, and read more about Wolffkran in this edition, we are launching a unique event within an event, as we work in partnership with the leading Tower Crane manufacturer, to bring the first ever campaign to find the Tower Crane Operator of the Year.

This competition will be open exclusively to Crane Operators with the qualifying tickets and will not be part of the round robin format of the wider competition.

And There’s More…£6,000 MB Crusher Grapple, up for Grabs.

MB Crusher, the leading manufacturer of patented crusher buckets and attachments, has announced it will include a major prize incentive of, a MB-G350 Sorting Grapple, for the winner of the attachment challenge, at the 2023 UK Plant Operator of the Year, being held in association with the CITB on Saturday, September 30th.

Not only will the winner of attachment challenge claim this world class product, but they will also enter the final challenge of the competition. All to be in with a chance of winning the £10,000 cash prize and be named champion plant operator for 2023.

Event organiser Brian Coogan said, “I would like to thank MB Crusher for this generous product injection. Not only does this increase the prize pot for the campaign winner, but it enables many years of additional revenue for our champion, when the grapple is put to work”.

Compact, versatile, and precise, the MB-G350 sorting grapple works on mini-excavators from 1.3 tonne to 2.6 tonne, handling logs, rocks, debris and poles, in the landscaping, roadwork, pipeline and demolition sectors.

The unit’s jaws have a wide opening, so it can grab and handle large materials.

It’s equipped with a fall prevention valve, guaranteeing a safe job site. The unit can have an electrical kit installed for two-line functionality, allowing it to use the 360° rotation – even for mini-excavators which come with two hoses.

And There is Even More…
Leica Geosystems the renowned provider of machine control systems, has just announced that it will be providing a number of Leica Rugby Rotating Lasers to the prize fund which will now be swelled by a Rugby 610 worth £650, a Rugby 620 worth £795 and a Rugby 680 worth over a £1,000.
Neil Williams; UK Business Director for Heavy Construction at Hexagon Geosystems said,
“We have once again aligned ourselves with the UK Plant Operator of the Year campaign, as this is the only true operator event with the operator in mind. Year on year this event grows in attraction and momentum, it is essential for us as a premium manufacturer to be aligned to such events that have the end user at the forefront of its output”.

UK Plant Operator Publisher Brian Coogan said “I would like to thank Neil over at Leica Geosytems for his continuing commitment and support of the UK Plant Operator of the Year campaign. Leica share the values at the editorial heart of this campaign. This generous product injection to the prize fund, further demonstrates the criticality of the campaign with manufacturers, distributors, contractors and hirers…The very best will be generously rewarded at the 2023 UK Plant Operator of the year”.

Best in Class, Best in Show.

Once the round robin format has been completed with each of the tasks running concurrently, we will have a Plant Operator of the year and indeed Crane Operator of the year for each category.

These winners will each be recognised with a presentational award and enter the grand finale in the afternoon, where two final timed tasks will determine who will be crowned the champion plant operator for 2023.

That winner will receive a presentational award and a cheque for £10,000.

The Heart of the Campaign.

UKPO Magazine recognises that the industry faces a severe skills gap, urgent attention is required, as such, this issue is at the strategic heart of the publication’s output. The nation’s leading contractors and hirers, through close relationships with the magazine, promote the operation of plant machinery as a rewarding and sustainable career path.

The pathway to becoming a plant operator has been simplified, with best-in-class training available through the CITB National Construction College (NCC) at Bircham Newton. The best plant hire companies are providing excellent terms and conditions, first class opportunities and the latest technology. Creating a safer, smarter and cleaner environment to attract the next generation of UK Plant Operators.

As you can see 2023 the UK Plant Operator of the Year campaign will see some exciting developments, with leading UK hirers and contractors entering teams to compete in a series of challenges across a range of Excavators, Telehandlers, Compact Loaders, Bulldozers, Backhoes, Wheel Loaders and Tilt Rotators, to name a few. The very latest models, supplied by the world’s leading manufacturers.

Finalists will demonstrate their skill and knowledge, in addition to showcasing the technological and engineered solutions the machines deliver, supporting the industry to be safer and more sustainable, whilst improving performance.

The event has become hugely popular very quickly, uniting the industry from Training Colleges, to Equipment Manufacturers to Attachment Providers to Distributors, Plant Hirers and of course Plant Operators, thus ensuring the sector continues to grow.

Click here to qualify for entry – England & Wales

New for 2023 – The Scottish Heat.

The number one event to find the UK Plant Operator of the Year is heading North this summer.

Working in partnership with Morris Leslie Plant Hire, Blackwood Plant Hire, JCB, Takeuchi, Kubota, CM Labs. Leica and MB Crusher #UKPOOTY are holding a Scottish heat on Saturday July 22nd in Perth, Perthshire to find the 5 x best plant operators in Scotland.

The event will be hosted at the Morris Leslie, Working Weekend event, which is known and established in the region attracting over 10,000 people over the weekend.

There are prizes for the winners and an opportunity to pre-qualify for the National Final in September, over at the CITB National Training College in Kings Lynn. Where the plant operator of the year will walk away with £10,000.

This is an ideal opportunity for Scottish plant operators to test themselves in the world of competitive skills challenges. Sizing up the competition locally before any commitment to a national final.

Applications are open now; all you need to enter are your current excavator tickets and to reside in Scotland.

Click here to enter Scottish Heat