Eric Roussel, Roussel Masonry, Dubuque, Iowa, maneuvered his vehicle through  a series of lifting, reaching, and driving activities to win the 2006 Telehandler  Skills Challenge.
Eric Roussel, Roussel Masonry, Dubuque, Iowa, maneuvered his vehicle through a series of lifting, reaching, and driving activities to win the 2006 Telehandler Skills Challenge.
Patrick Baxter, Summit Concrete & Masonry, North Branch, Minn., drove away  in a new truck as part of his prize package for winning the 2006 Bricklayer 500.
Patrick Baxter, Summit Concrete & Masonry, North Branch, Minn., drove away in a new truck as part of his prize package for winning the 2006 Bricklayer 500.

The 2007 World of Masonry/World of Concrete in Las Vegas will feature two exciting and entertaining special events specifically designed for mason contractors: SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 and JLG Industries Telehandler Skills Challenge.

The 75,000 or so contractors traveling to Las Vegas, Jan. 22 - 26, for the World of Masonry/World of Concrete will have the opportunity to check out the product offerings from about 1600 companies and learn how to improve productivity, efficiency, and profitability via the more than 100 educational seminars. Attendees also will have the opportunity to take in or participate in two exciting extra curricular events where mason contractors match their skills in bricklaying and driving proficiency.

The 5th annual SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 will feature 20 of the country's top masons competing for the title “Nation's Best Bricklayer.” Each mason lays a starter wall consisting of two courses of 8-in x 8-in. x 16-in. CMUS and one course of modular brick. The competitors then have 60 minutes to build a 26-ft double-wythe wall with as many brick as possible. Last year's winner placed 780 brick, while meeting the contest's quality parameters.

In addition, each mason's tender will compete in the Toughest Tender Contest prior to the main event. A Craftsmanship Award will be given to the mason who places at least 500 brick and creates what the judges determine to be the best wall.

The 2nd annual JLG Industries Telehandler Skills Challenge will feature operators of 6000-lb rough terrain, telescopic forklifts performing a series of common tasks to determine the country's best driver. The operators will need to display nimble handling skills, lifting and placing precision, overall productivity, and awareness of safety procedures. The winner of the two-day event will be based on time, accuracy, and most importantly, safety.