The fastest skid loader in America?

Jake Stier will soon find out if he is the fastest man in the U.S. — in a skid loader.

Stier

New Holland Construction announced that Stier, of Racine, Minn., is one of 32 semi-finalists who will compete at the New Holland Construction North American Skid Steer Championship on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the 2011 Green Industry and Equipment Expo in Louisville, Ky. Stier works for Stier Farm in Racine. He will face off against the best compact equipment operators in the nation in a series of skill-testing challenges using a New Holland Construction skid loader.

Of more than 2,000 participants who competed in New Holland Construction Super Boom Road Show events across the U.S. and Canada this year, Stier and the other semi-finalists will battle for the title of North American Skid Steer Champion and the grand prize of a new, fully loaded New Holland Construction 200 Series skid loader — valued at $35,000, plus $5,000 and New Holland Construction gear.

Though Stier is new to skid loader competitions, as he competed in his first event in Albert Lea on June 4, he’s no rookie. Stier, who will soon be 27, has operated skid loaders for roughly 20 years, and he’s not afraid to push the limits. After operating skid loaders for so long, he said he’ll sometimes try to pick up multiple objects at once or find new, interesting ways to complete tasks. Known by many as a wheelie expert on motorcycles, ATVs and other machines, Stier has applied those talents with skid loaders, too. He can ride wheelies and shift gears in the process.

“It just actually kind of comes naturally,” he said about driving skid loaders. “I feel comfortable when I’m doing it.”

When Stier and others found out about the Albert Lea competition at Titan Machinery Inc. in June, they decided to check it out. And even after Stier threw down the best time, he didn’t think much of it.

“When I won, I didn’t think it was that big of deal,” he said.

However, New Holland representatives began calling Stier and offering to take their equipment to his farm. Since then, he’s been excited about the opportunity to compete on the national level. According to Stier, New Holland representatives said he has a good shot at winning it all. Furthermore, they said people like Stier are in elite company.

“New Holland Construction skid steer operators like Stier are pros,” said Dave December, New Holland Construction marketing manager. “They do everything from material handling and landscaping to grading, plowing and digging. The New Holland Construction North American Skid Steer Championship event gives Stier and his fellow semi-finalists a chance to operate the newest New Holland Construction equipment and put their skills to the test on a national stage.”

Complete information about the New Holland Construction Super Boom Road Show is located at www.newholland.com/roadshow. Stier’s fans can follow his progress during the championship competition on Oct. 27 on Twitter at twitter.com/ newhollandce.

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