Q&A with Jaus Neigum, Caterpillar’s Global Operator Challenge Champion

March 19, 2020

Caterpillar’s Global Operator Challenge brought 10,000 operators from 30 countries together to compete, held by 70 Cat dealers worldwide. In the end, Jaus Neigum (Canada), the Americas West champion, was crowned Global Operator Challenge Champion with an overall low-time score of 16:28 for all three events. 

Construction Equipment sat down for a brief Q&A with Neigum following his victory.

Construction Equipment: How did it feel to compete against the top operators from across the globe?

Jaus Neigum: It was a privilege to compete against these guys, I absolutely enjoyed everything. It was a nail biter after the excavator challenge. Nobody really knew who won, so we were sort of speculating. But I loved coming out here, supporting the trades, and having a good time. It was full of friendly competition.

CE: How did you first get involved with Cat’s Global Operator Challenge?

JM: In the past we’ve always attended operator challenges through other companies. This was the first time Caterpillar held one in Canada, which I signed up for as soon as I heard about it. They’ve done smaller dealer ones in the past, but this was the first time they did a Global Operator Challenge. So I signed up, competed in Edmonton [Canada], and won first place there.

CE: What did the preparation for this competition look like for you?

JM: For me, and actually for a lot of the other competitors, it was hard to find the time and the equipment to train on. We really didn’t know up until about a month ago what exactly this challenge was going to be. But I do this every day for a living, so that’s the best training you can get.

CE: Your family is ecstatic about your win. Do you share a lot of things about your career with your children? Have they taken an interest in the industry as well?

JM: Yeah, they’re always playing with Tonkas. I actually had our own operator challenge for my son’s 6th birthday in my backyard. They absolutely loved it. 

CE: Did you think you would be here now, holding the world champion title?

JM: I wanted to believe that I would be here. And now that I’m here, deep down, I think I did feel like I was going to win.

CE: Any words of wisdom for operators across the world?

JM: When there’s a competition in your area, get out and compete. You never know what could happen if you never try.

Download: Here