I’ve always wanted to drive a digger. Always.
I sat quietly and watched friends and family drive diggers and only ever asked to drive one once. I asked my cousin if I could drive his 20 tonne digger. He said no way and told me that with a flick of a wrist I could kill someone.
Growing up with family that operate diggers I’ve been behind the truck a few times but have never asked to drive one again.
Until Dig This invited us to come and dig a big hole. And dig a big hole I did – in a 15 tonne digger by myself.
Turning up there I was quite excited. They have a zero alcohol policy so I knew when I blew in the breath test I was going to be clear. I went through a quick training videos and safety brief. Normally I don’t look forward to these but I actually enjoyed these ones and I absorbed it all.
I got given a set of headphones so that I could hear what the instructor was telling me.
He started off giving me basic instructions like turning on the machine, setting the throttle and where the safety brake was. I didn’t know these things before but I do now.
For the next hour my instructor guided me by voice commands to do multiple tasks from digging holes, lifting and stacking tyres and picking up balls.
It was a whole lot of fun.
I could have just driven away on my digger and played all by myself happily but apparently my hour was up and I had to leave. I thought briefly about busting my way out of there but then I remembered he had a safety button if I did anything I wasn’t supposed to do.
I rate this hour up there with riding my first Harley. It was awesome.
Apparently the kids were off on some digger called James at the same time.
I think they had fun.
They got to operate their own digger each – digging holes and plucking ducks out of the water.
They staff were so down to earth and friendly. It’s actually what we found with everyone we met in Invercargill. They’re just bloody nice people. I can see why my mate Dave lives here.
At the end of it we all got certificates.
And a message for my cousin Sean – no one died.