Irwin Tools is searching across the world for the Ultimate Tradesman. With competitions throughout the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand, the tradesman who can Grip It, Rip It, and Drive It faster than any other tradesman out there will be crowned the next Irwin Tools Ultimate Tradesman.
The challenge kicked off March 19 on SPEED Channel’s Trackside from Bristol Motor Speedway, followed by competitions taking place at the race track all weekend. More 50 events will take place throughout North America over the next few months. All competitors who participate at local North American events will receive Irwin gear, and the winner with the top time of the day will walk away with a tool bag packed with Irwin tools, plus genuine Cat footwear.
Twenty-four of the top tradesmen in the country will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Bristol Motor Speedway, where they will compete in the North American Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Championship on Aug. 20, during the weekend of the inaugural Irwin Tools Night Race. Not only will each competitor be treated to a VIP race weekend, but it’s here that the North American Champion will win a year’s supply of Cat footwear and a custom Irwin Tools Mustang GT Premium Pace Car - the official pace car of the Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series event.
The North American Ultimate Tradesman will then advance to the World Finals in March 2011, again at Bristol Motor Speedway, where six tradesmen from around the world will compete to become the Worldwide Irwin Tools Ultimate Tradesman. The tradesman with the top time will win the grand prize - a custom 2010 Irwin Ultimate Tradesman Challenge trophy and a chance to win $1 million.
The ChallengeThe Ultimate Tradesman Challenge is a global competition where skilled tradesmen will perform a series of precise tasks in a race against the clock. Contestants will first use Irwin Vise-Grip GrooveLock pliers to remove two pipe fittings from a qualifying channel (the Grip It portion).
Each contestant will then use an Irwin square and pencil to mark three lines on a standard 2-inch x 4-inch x 24-inch board, at premarked positions. Contestant then slides the board into a cutting position and securely clamps it to the work surface with an Irwin Quick-Grip XP600 one-handed bar clamp. An Irwin Universal Hand Saw is used to cut the board on the line previously marked (the Rip It part of the challenge).
Finally, using an Irwin Speedbor Max Speed drill bit, each contestant drills two holes in the board at the intersecting lines (Drive It), unclamps the board, places the clamp on the competition cart, and puts the board in the qualifying channel. If the board fits accurately, the clock will automatically stop, and the challenge time will be noted.
Speed; ability to remove pipe fittings; accurate marking; ability to clamp work securely; fast, straight cuts; and the ability to accurately drill holes are crucial to winning the challenge. The Ultimate Tradesman Challenge is a true test of on-the-job skills.
Visit www.irwin.com for details on the “task,” or to see a video of the challenge in action.