Dig It: Construction Machinery Experience Days
If you’ve ever wanted to move mountains, now’s your chance. Take the driving seat in a mammoth excavator, crank up the power and feel the earth move in more ways than one as you dig, dump and bulldoze your way around this unforgettable experience. Described as making even a Ferrari a non-starter in the horsepower stakes, these mighty machines have a job to do and they don’t mess around. You’ll be at the controls of a 25 tonne Articulated Dumper Truck, a colossal Excavator, a brutish Liebherr 911 Bulldozer and – for a bit of fingertip fun – you’ll get to tank around in a Mini Digger too. On the topic of tanking, guess what’s the icing on the cake? Yep – a complimentary ride in a tank. Talk about a traction-packed experience. By the end of your earth-shaking shenanigans you’ll be as happy as a tornado in a caravan park.
Dig It: Construction Machinery In a Nutshell
- No previous driving experience required
- Drive a 25 tonne Articulated Dumper Truck
- Drive a Midrange Excavator
- Drive a Minidigger
- Drive a Liebherr 911 Bulldozer
- Ride in or on a tank
- Finish the day with a certificate of achievement
What To Expect in This Digger Experience
This is the driving experience to end all driving experiences. In this half-day Dig It! excavation spectacular, you’ll get to haul yourself behind the wheel of four different mammoth construction machines. We’re not talking Average Joes here. These are the real bruisers of the construction industry with mega weigh-ins and all the trimmings – tracks, scoops, loaders and shedloads of horsepower. Whether you’re digging, dozing, dumping or just driving around with a huge grin on your face, it’s a truckload of fun.
On the day, you’ll get together with a few other digger devotees – no more than five people – to meet your instructors and sit down for an introductory session on these awesome machines. It also includes a safety briefing which, let’s face it, is kind of important when you’re in charge of 25 tonnes. Afterwards, it’s down to the playground where your humble steeds are waiting.
You’ll get to drive a 25 tonne 6×6 Articulated Dumper Truck, a Mini Digger, a Mid-range Excavator, and the near-legendary Liebherr 911 Bulldozer. With experts showing you the ropes, you’ll learn how to drive these monstrous construction machines and try your hand at loads of cool stuff like digging holes, shovelling earth and bulldozing. Talk about extreme thrills.
But the thrills don’t stop there. Once you’re done playing Bob the Builder, you’ll climb up into a humongous tank for the passenger ride of your life. Exactly which tank will depend on availability, but you can rest assured it will be a serious military mean machine with caterpillar tracks, turrets and ridiculously heavy armour. We’re sorry, but driving your car will never feel quite the same again.
All together your experience lasts for around 3.5 hours, which includes briefings and getting acquainted with the vehicles as well as driving time. You can book a morning or afternoon session and just to top it off, you’ll get complimentary tea and coffee too. Excavators, mega-trucks, tanks and tea – life doesn’t get much better than this.
The Technical Stuff
During your Dig It! Earth Moving experience, you’ll drive not just one but four different machines. These heroes of construction come in the form of a 25 tonne 6×6 Articulated Dumper Truck, a Mini Digger, a Mid-range Excavator, and a Liebherr 911 Bulldozer. They come with loads of tools like blades, buckets, booms and more – everything you need for a pretty awesome day out. You’ll also get a passenger ride in or on a tank. The tank varies depending on what’s available on the day, but it could be something like a Chieftan or an Abbot SPG. Your day just got a whole lot better.
Stuff You Really Need to Know
Your Dig It! Earth Moving Experience lasts for around three and a half hours. This is the end-to-end experience including training, safety briefs and familiarising with the vehicles, as well as actual driving. You will join a handful of other drivers in a small group of no more than five, so there’s plenty of driving time and one-on-one tuition opportunities with the instructors.
Don’t expect the day to be cancelled if the heavens open. Unless it’s the Apocalypse, you can be pretty sure that your experience will go ahead in all weather conditions – but if you’re in any doubt, call on the morning to avoid a wasted trip. Sessions typically take place on selected dates between March and October, so come prepared for all eventualities (you know what the British weather is like) and you’ll have a ball. Wear old, comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and sensible, sturdy boots.
Participants must be aged 16 years or older (under 18s require parental or guardian consent), but no previous driving experience is required. This experience is designed for anyone that gets excited over the sight of big diggers and bulldozers, and who want to try these machines out for themselves. On a serious note, participants should be fit and agile enough to climb in and out of tall cabs. The terrain is naturally bumpy so bear this in mind if you have back trouble. If you have a medical condition or if you’re in any doubt, make sure you inform the supplier at the time of booking.
The experience is available as a half-day session in the morning (usually 9.00am to 12.30pm) or during the afternoon (typically 1.00pm to 4.30pm). Spectators can gain entry by paying the standard fee, which also grants a ride on a tank and complimentary tea and coffee. Children under 10 years old get in for free.
Finding The Venue
Based near Winchester in Hampshire, the venue is the home of exhilarating experiences featuring some of the biggest and best feats of engineering ever invented. Excavators, dumper trucks, bulldozers, tanks, helicopters, quad bikes… if it’s big, powerful and noisy, you’ll find it here. As experiences go this is where the fun’s really at.
The venue is really all about the machinery, so don’t expect swish viewing galleries and a la carte restaurants. There’s an undercover area with picnic benches and a wood fire – this is where the safety briefing takes place. There are also refreshments available for participants and guests (think bacon sarnies), with tea and coffee provided on-tap. And there are toilets too – so there’s no running behind a bush when nature calls.
Will I really get to drive four vehicles?
Yep. Believe it – you’ll be let loose in four earth-moving mega trucks, and you’ll get a ride in a tank too. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Is there a height restriction?
You need to be able to reach the pedals, so the minimum height is typically 5ft or 152cm. And no, stilettos won’t work.
What if I’m a bit past it?
So long as you’re relatively fit and healthy, and you think you can climb in and out of tall cabs, you shouldn’t have to miss out. You can speak to the venue if you’re not sure but if you think you’re up for it, far be it from us to stand in your way.
Can I bring the kids?
Bring whoever you like. Kids under 10 get in for free, everyone else has to pay an entry fee to come and watch. That doesn’t just get them in to see you in action, it also includes a ride in a tank and a free cup of tea too. How’s that for a grand day out?
Do I need a builder’s bum?
It’s not essential but it makes for some funny photos afterwards!
What We Think of Dig It: Construction Machinery Experience Days
We have rated this experience 3 out of 5 stars. This experience is more about getting a feel for a wide range of machinery. There isn't much in the way of competition and you don't get to spend too much time in each machine but you do get to try out some other construction machines not offered in other experience days. A tank ride tops the experience day off which is a novel twist even though it's not directly related to the construction theme of this particular activity day.
Reviewed by David Fiske on .
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