The name is Myatt – Ashley Myatt – and he could be one of the UK’s most unusual world champions. Based in the village of Barnton, close to Northwich, 56-year-old Mr Myatt works for TG Builders Merchants (part of the Tudor Griffiths Group) in one of their seven branches across Cheshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Powys. He is based at Wincham Mill, Manchester Road, Northwich as a HGV driver.
It was his manager who started Mr Myatt on the trail to possible glory by suggesting that he enter the northern regional heat of the World Crane Championships, held at Oulton Park towards the end of February. His victory in this qualifying round means he has secured a place in the first World Final at the Commercial Vehicle Show, to be held at the NEC Birmingham from 14-16 April.
Qualification events have taken place in eleven countries, and the event is sponsored by HIAB (Hydrauliska Industri AB), the world’s leading provider of on-road load handling equipment. The company is owned by the Cargotec Corporation.
Finalists will be expected to manoeuvre a state-of-the-art HIAB X-HiPro 192 through a series of obstacles. The aim will be to beat a time set by anonymous professional crane operator “Eric” (The Stig of the crane world). The winner and world champion will receive prizes totalling €25,000 (€20K off a crane purchase and €5K in travellers’ cheques for the operator).
During the heat, Mr Myatt was required to operate a lorry mounted crane and manoeuvre it around pre-positioned crates, topple a number of target barrels and position accurately the load into containers. It takes around three minutes to complete the course and Ashley Myatt delivered a fault-free round. He has held a crane operators licence for six years, gaining it just a year after he joined TG Builders Merchants. For company work, he operates a Volvo FE 6×2 rear steer vehicle with a HIAB 122 crane.
Understandably, TG Group Managing Director, Tudor Griffiths, is very proud of Mr Myatt’s achievements: “Ashley has represented our company brilliantly. It’s a terrific achievement to reach the final, and we can only wish him a good steer for his big day”.
Good luck Ashley!
Image: pictured Mr Ashley Myatt