The nationwide competition brought together 12 competitors from 11 of the Contractors Federations branches, plus the defending champion, competing over two days. National co-ordinator Malcolm Abernethy said the aim is to recognize and promote individual excellence, skills and expertise to increase the profile of industry.
Brian, a general contractor and specialist swimming pool installer operates a Hitachi ZX135US on a daily basis, utilising the short radius swing design to work in tight spaces and confined backyards.
Brian has won the Auckland region’s excavator driver competition on three previous occasions, with the grand prize eluding him till this year.
Competitors are asked to load a truck with sand or logs and on the first day of the course do a series of small tasks such as pouring water from one bucket to another, picking up a basketball and putting it into manhole rising, along with various digging tasks. Competitors also complete a small project where they are required to take the role of foreman, explaining what materials and resources are required, and what safety requirements and planning will be put in place for the site; after they have done this theory they are required to construct a part of it with only the resources they listed. There are seven sections to the final with the practical side being in an excavator; 70% of the final scores are gained by actually operating a machine. Competitors are also tested on what they do in terms of emergency response, first aid, and how they approach the machine (pre start up checks, maintenance). Along with the overall excavator driver’s trophy, Brian also took out the One day project award.
Shortly after winning the prize, and receiving $10,000 in prizes, Brian spoke to CablePrice saying he was “absolutely stoked at the result. I went into the weekend just focusing on how I do my job each day, and was not concentrating on winning. It’s absolutely awesome!”