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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Fri 29 Mar 2013

Digger job recollections

On my way back from a blog photo shoot in St Ives, in Cornwall last weekend, I passed a number of locations that I had worked on in the past. This reminded me of my late father Jim Drew, and how he used to tell me about all the jobs he had completed in the past when we were out on our travels.

Digger job recollections
As I headed east, back up the A30 dual carriageway on my way home, I recalled a number of jobs I had been involved in along the route of the upgraded road between Bodmin and Indian Queens, when I was on hire to main contractor McAlpines, including batters I had trimmed and top soiled, lay-bys I had cut out, and a series of ecology lagoons I had dug on the job back in 2006. At the time this road construction job was one of the biggest civil engineering projects undertaken in Cornwall, and since its opening in 2007, it has significantly reduced traffic congestion along this busy tourist route into Cornwall, which is said to carry in excess of 30,000 vehicles a day during the summer months! One of the most striking memories of the job for me, was the construction of the first bridge at the Bodmin end of the project. The bridge was put in early, so the road it carried could be used as a diversion route. However, most of the earth underneath the bridge in the path of the new dual carriageway construction, still had to be removed after the bridge was built. This was initially achieved by using a Komatsu PC450-7 hydraulic excavator loading Cat 740 articulated dumptrucks to shift the bulk of the earth as close as possible to the bridge construction itself. After this operation was complete, a Komatsu D75S crawler loading shovel on hire from WH Bonds, was brought in to excavate the earth immediately underneath the structure, loading the spoil away in smaller Bell B25D articulated dumptrucks. To me it seemed an unusual way to tackle the job, but it was interesting to witness how it was done. And this is how it looks today. Almost incredible when you look back at those two earlier photos. It certainly makes you appreciate the work we can do with our various forms of earthmoving equipment, something that so many people take for granted. Each and every day, those of us at the controls of our machines are shaping the world around us for others to enjoy. Whether it be building houses, roads, leisure centres, or shopping complexes, to demolishing old eye sores and regeneration work, its something we should all be very proud of as operators. If you have any memories of jobs you have worked on with supporting photos, I would love to hear from you and look forward to posting them here on the Digger Man Blog.  

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