Remember when you were a kid and you played in the sandbox with your toy bulldozers, fantasizing about being behind the controls of the giant machines you saw on construction sites?
It’s said the only difference between men and boys is the size of their toys and a Las Vegas enterprise is now offering both men and women the opportunity to play with full sized construction equipment on an adult scale. For those over the age of 14 who drive past construction zones and wonder what it’s like to commandeer a real bulldozer or excavator, there is no longer a need to wonder.
Back in 2004, Ed Mumm, a Colorado fencing contractor, rented an excavator for a project and ran the piece of heavy equipment himself. He had so much fun operating the machine; he came up with the idea to create a business allowing others to enjoy the same experience.
After doing his due diligence and business planning for three years, Mumm launched his heavy equipment playground concept in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He christened the enterprise Dig This and the idea was well received. So in early 2011 Mumm decided to move the operation to one of America’s most famous playgrounds: Las Vegas, Nevada.
The heavy equipment amusement park currently offers two bulldozers and three excavators for rent which patrons can operate on a five acre spread. Renters can use the heavy equipment to dig trenches and move earth, as well as have fun tackling an obstacle course specially designed to test the aptitude of the operator.
Safety is a primary concern, so each operator initially participates in a quick overview of the safety procedures that we are required. After passing a breathalyzer test, renters are fitted with a neon yellow vest and hardhat. From there participants take their seat at the helm of their giant earth mover. Dig This instructors then walk patrons through every lever, button, and gauge that is needed to skillfully maneuver the heavy equipment. Following this brief period of in-cab training, it’s on to the business of play.
For those new to the controls, Dig This has designed a series of warm up exercises to get rookies earthmoving like a champ. Via headset, an instructor maintains contact while the digging, trenching, and pushing warm ups occur. Once the mentor decides to set the operator loose, they can tear, dig, rip, claw, grind, and drive at will.
Sessions run 90 minutes and up to two a day can be booked. And lest you think this is an all male bastion, Dig This reports that roughly half of its customers are women. Trip Advisor has rated Dig This the number one attraction in Las Vegas. It seems that many Las Vegas visitors want to pull levers that aren’t attached to a slot machine, and roll heavy machinery as well as dice.
For more details visit their website and learn how you can scratch operating an excavator off your bucket list, or give it as a gift to someone who will really dig it. You can also visit their YouTube channel to see more videos of people renting a heavy equipment operator experience.