Dot Foods, the largest food industry redistributor in North America, congratulates its Modesto employee Miguel Sanchez for placing first in the pallet jack competition at the company's 2018 Forklift Rodeo National Championship. Sanchez, of Stockton, Calif., is a six-year employee with a spotless safety record. This was Sanchez's fifth appearance at the National Championship and second win on the pallet jack. He also took home top honors in the category in 2013.

Each June, Dot brings finalists from all 11 of its distribution centers across the country to Mt. Sterling to compete in the Forklift Rodeo National Championship. The finalists are selected based on regional competitions at each Dot location. Finalists qualify on one of four pieces of equipment: narrow aisle, forklift, pallet jack, or order picker. The competition is designed to highlight the importance of safety measures and show mastery of their job duties. Finalists must navigate an obstacle course of pallets with their piece of material handling equipment while balancing a basketball on an upturned trash can. Participants are penalized for improper dismounts, basketball drops, bumping objects on the course, and failure to stop or honk at intersections. Finalists from Mt. Sterling, Ill. took home the top prizes for the narrow aisle, forklift, and order picker competitions.

"Not everyone in this industry holds an event like the Forklift Rodeo," David Bigelow, Dot Foods California general manager, said. "The Rodeo allows our employees, from all different locations, to interact with one another in a fun environment. The National Championship also allows Dot to promote the importance of safety and continue recognizing and rewarding our employees working in the warehouse. Congratulations to all of the winners this year."

As a national champion, Sanchez won his choice of an all-expense paid vacation for one of the following locations: Cancun, Mexico, Caribbean cruise, cruise of the Bahamas, Disney World in Orlando, Fla., New York City, San Antonio, or St. Petersburg Beach, Fla.