‘Gold Rush’ Shows How Difficult It Is to Operate an Excavator

by Jonathan Howard

One thing that Gold Rush has shown is how difficult the jobs of these miners can be, especially with all of the heavy machinery that goes into the process.

Now, look, some folks might look at the work and think it is easy. I’m not sure who would think that, but folks are full of hubris. On a recent The Dirt special, the crew takes a behind-the-scenes look at operating an excavator. Now, there’s a reason why people need certifications and all that in order to operate machinery like this.

Christo Doyle got to sit behind the controls and saw how things are done. Now, to be honest, Doyle’s work in the rig was done on flat ground and he stayed stationary besides swinging the boom around. When those excavators move around, they beat up whoever is behind the controls. Check out the video below and see for yourself.

This is every kid’s dream that ever played with a Tonka Truck or something similar. Playing in the sand is almost a primitive desire. However, these excavators make the work anything but. A bucket of dirt and earth that takes the machine seconds to move, would have taken much longer with shovels and picks.

Gold Rush operations rely so heavily on these excavators. In fact, Rick Ness almost lost one of his biggest machines but was saved by a young mechanic.

Rick Ness Saved By Young Mechanic on Small Crew

Rick and his crew have been trying to make some headway over at Duncan Creek. The spot is supposed to meet the weekly gold goals that Ness has in mind. However, with just his 480 excavator working, he realized that with a small crew and a small machine, things weren’t going to go as he planned.

In walks 20-year-old Torsten Peterson. An apprentice mechanic with just a year left until he is a full-fledged mechanic. Peterson was the only guy available. His job was to get Rick’s 750 operating and digging dirt yet again. That’s a $1,000,000 piece of machinery.

The Gold Rush crew gave the young mechanic some gentle ribbing. However, by the time Peterson was done, all of their jokes and doubts went out the window. The young apprentice did just fine and got the large machine up and running once again.

‘Gold Rush’ Season Gets Intense

Right now, Gold Rush is at a very important time in the season. From Parker Schnabel to Rick Ness and, of course, Tony Beets, each crew is working hard to meet their season goals. Machinery has to be in top condition. Their operations must be going 24/7. Any slip-ups mean less gold and that means less money for the people working the hardest.

As the Gold Rush season continues, these crews will attempt to dig as much yellow metal out of the ground as they can.