Over the years, we have been witness to some crazy stuff accomplished by tractors and other farm equipment. However, synchronized tractor dancing may be a first. This performance dates back to 2011 and takes place at the Elvaston Castle Steam Rally. Beyond the prowess of the tractors and drivers was the impressive size of the crowd.
The Digger Dance Team
What we are witnessing is a collaboration of five drivers that dates back to 2004. The team takes the diggers through a series of choreographed routines that are designed to show off the extreme flexibility of the JC Balls Diggers. The Routine is set to music because the best things in the world usually are.
The first part of the act is the near pass. Here the drivers two of the drivers line up on the other side of the field and the two groups head toward each other with the goal of passing as close as possible to each other without touching. That might seem like an easy task, but when the buckets elevated much of the driver’s field of vision is reduced, and it becomes a process of talent and luck.
The Solid Wheel Maneuver
With that success, the continue on and meet in the middle of the field to perform a single unit wheel. The goal is to make a complete revolution without breaking their line. Again, this may seem simple, but each tractor must move at a different rate of speed in order to keep up with the others. The outer tractor must move the fastest because it has more distance to cover. The inner tractor must move at the slowest speed because it must move the least amount of distance. The three in the middle have to find the exact speed, or the line will be lost. They must do all of this without touching.
In the next move, the diggers lower their rear stabilizers, and the digger arm is extended to the side where the hydraulics of the system are put to the test. The goal is to launch the digger on its side, nearly to the point where the rig would tip over. It is a good show of how versatile these machines are in the field.
The thing to remember is that JC Balls & Sons is not a heavy equipment manufacturer. They are a plant hire and excavation specialist company out of Derbyshire, UK. The purpose of this display is to show how precise the driving and work crew at JCB is when it comes to working in the civilian sector. To help prove their point they use the hydraulics of these diggers to lift the machines so high in the air that other vehicles can drive underneath of them. To accomplish this requires a deep knowledge of how these diggers handle and what kind of abuse they can take.
Some Fun Facts:
- The IXC JCB backhoe loader weighs 1,503 kilos.
- The 3CX backhoe loader weighs 8,070 kilos that translate roughly to 24,449 pounds.
That is a lot of weight to keep up in the air while another vehicle drives beneath it. In fact, that is kind of amazing when you think about it. How many of you think you are skilled enough to raise a 24,449 pound digger up off of all four wheels and keep it there long enough for something to drive beneath it? Here is some food for thought: