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National excavator competition hotter than ever

8 March 2018

National excavator competition hotter than ever

A veteran champ at the national excavator operator finals will battle it out next week to beat the current record holder.

Civil Contractors NZ National Excavator Operator Competition is being held at the Central District Field Days in Feilding on 16th and 17th March.

The competition is usually hotly contested, with the country’s top excavator operators competing to be crowned New Zealand’s best, but this year will be hotter than usual.

Steven Galbraith, who has won the competition for the last two years, is aiming for a third consecutive win to match current record holder Brian Hoffman, who has held the triple win title since 2014.

Steve will have to beat 10 other operators, including competitors he’s come up against in previous years.

The competiton tests excavator operators’ skills to the very limit. Using a 12 tonne Hitachi digger, competitors have to complete such tricky tasks as pouring a cup of tea, slam dunking a basketball, popping a champagne cork and transporting an egg.

“It’s a great event for families and spectators. These opertaors are the best in the business. We encourage everyone to come down and watch these enormous machines undertake very intricate tasks,” said competition manager Tricia Logan.

The two-day event comprises four elements:
Main course – competitors complete 12 to 15 activities in 60 minutes using 12-tonne Hitachi excavators, including pouring a cup of tea, and a series of excavation exercises;
Emergency scenario – contestants must respond well to a realistic emergency situation involving first-aid skills and emergency response;
The ‘CablePrice Mini Digger’ event – competitors are judged on how well they brief and relate to young children to operate a 1.7 tonne Hitachi mini excavator.
‘One Day Job’ event – competitors must construct something using a 5-tonne machine. The task is equivalent to a full day task but must be completed in just 60 minutes and be scoped, priced and planned by the competitor.

The competition is organised by the Manawatu Branch of Civil Contractors NZ and other major event sponsors include CablePrice Hitachi, Connexis, Humes, Hirepool, Z, First Gas, Contractor Magazine, Doherty Couplers and Attachments, beforeUdig, Attach2 Equipment and Earthworm.

It aims to raise the profile of a growing industry that is increasingly embracing new technology. The construction and maintenance industry carries out $12 billion of work annually, employing 60,000 workers including excavator operators.

The competition is held on a site located in the Contractors’ corner in the south east of the Field Days’ site at Manfield Park, Feilding.


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