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Boys never outgrow playing with tractors

A Caterpillar dealer in Roanoke, Virginia, raffled off the rights to operate some heavy machinery for a few hours, with proceeds going to the local symphony (how’s that for cultural contrast?). A reporter for the local paper went along and talked the organizers into letting him run the arm on 324D excavator:

I mounted the steps to the cab, settled into the cushy seat, and recalled Church’s earlier mantra. “Left hand is stick and swing; right is bucket and boom.” At first gingerly and then with near-veteran confidence, I sent that arm out and down, planted the bucket at the base of the dirt mound, and twisted and pulled on controls until the scoop overflowed with red earth. Then I lifted it high, swung the load to my left, and dumped it from 20 feet up. On a roll, I pivoted back to the right, lowered the boom, and heard the diesel torque under load as the bucket clawed into the loose dirt once again. “Up, you devil,” I coaxed my machine in David Wiley fashion, swinging it around to the left while the bucket rose majestically. And then — bulls-eye! I dumped that ton of dirt right on top of my first load. “Tim the Tool Man” would’ve been proud.

I hope the woodwinds are grateful.

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Tom Mangan posted at 11:27 pm December 28th, 2008 |

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