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Bringing on the young blood

Mon 19 Mar 2018

Bringing on the young blood

From an early age most, young kids have a fascination with diggers, from Scoop Muck and Dizzy to Tractor Ted, these machines have a real impact on them especially young boys. A few years ago, I took my family to one of the Diggerland facilities in County Durham, where youngsters can safely enjoy driving machines, in a safe and controlled environment. While I was there, I was amazed at how good some of the other kids were, showing a real passion for the machines at such a young age, many of them picked up the basics really quickly showing great hand/eye coordination. Iíve often thought that when kids get to the age of 7-10 years old, there friends often see diggers as babyish and they are steered away towards iPads and Xboxís, the kind of things that do very little in terms of practical skills development, but I was determined that was not going to be the case with my two boys. Photo: Diggerland from the Digger Man Blog archives. I decided to purchase a 1.5 tonne mini excavator for my boys to practice on in my yard and we made a safe area where they could do this under direct supervision at nights and at weekends so they could learn more about advanced operating techniques, to me there is no substitute for the old school approach of getting them in the seat from a young age, like most of us of a certain age did back in the day. Iím also teaching the boys about changing oils, hydraulic pipes, greasing and generally keeping the machines clean and tidy, to show them itís not just about sitting in the seat. As the owner of a plant hire business, I know a lot of people in the construction industry and we all agree that the lack of knowledge and real-life experience young people have these days is terrible. In a way I kind of blame the schoolís and the where thereís blame, thereís a claim culture that we are all living in these days, also the fact that if you donít have the relevant tickets, you cannot get on a machine to gain any experience, its total madness! Jamie and Jay still have a huge interest in the machinery at the moment and I feel so long as they are happy doing it, they are gaining an invaluable life skill from a young age which will serve them well in the future. My friend Malcolm owns a shop, Slater Sports in Buckie, that also sells GoPro cameras and came up with the idea of filming the boys on the diggers one afternoon, that we can look back on in ten yearsí time. When we first saw the footage and showed it to friends and family the response was amazing and other people contacted us wanting to see the video. Our local Doosan dealer Balgownie at Inverurie were amazed at the skills on display and asked me to take the kids in to meet the sales staff and workshop mechanics. The boys were spoilt rotten and were kindly given digger models, pens and jackets and taken on a tour of the yard to look around the new machines on display. I truly believe itís the small things that keep them interested and the encouragement from adults that one day will make them great operators in the future. As a proud father, I hope you enjoy the video of my boys in action below.

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