If you’re looking for a good thrill, there are a ton of things you could do. You could go on an incredibly fast rollercoaster with huge drops, find a bridge to go bungee jumping off of, or do some base jumping off a cliff. But this guy has a much more unique way of getting a good adrenaline rush, and all he needed to make it happen was a harness, a Hitachi excavator, a helmet for safety, and a lot of courage (or disregard for his life).
Excavators and Heavy Equipment are Still Dangerous
You will see that there are a lot of dangers involved in this crazy stunt. First of all, you’d have to have a lot of trust in the guy operating the excavator. It doesn’t help that there are a bunch of huge rocks lying around that the guy could smash into if his buddy lowered the excavator too far. You’d also need to trust that your harness wouldn’t snap as you’re flipping around. Of course, you’d probably have similar concerns about that second one if you were bungee jumping.
These guys might have to start charging admission for this ride. They would want to make sure the people who try it sign a waiver first though. This is probably riskier than going on a ride at an amusement park, scuba diving, or going on a cruise ship, all of which may require you to sign a liability waiver. This guy is such a risk taker that I’m surprised he actually wore a helmet, which is something else you would want to make sure to equip people with if you wanted to make a little side business out of this.
Typical Excavator Specs
Who knew an excavator could be used to entertain? This Hitachi looks to be a medium-sized excavator, which can weight anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 pounds. An excavator of this size would likely have something close to the following specs, taking the newest Hitachi ZX160LC-5 as an example:
- 13.3 rpm swing speed
- 18,000-pound arm force
- 121 horsepower
- 3 liter engine displacement
- Bucket force of 25,000 pounds
How These Machines Work
How is this machine typically used for unexciting tasks able to transform into a tool of entertainment? The answer lies in how it was designed and built. At the base, above the tracks, is a rotating platform also known as a “house.” You’ll soon notice, or if you’ve seen one in action before which you probably have, that the house can rotate a full 360 degrees.
The cab sits above the base, and this is where the controls are to drive, turn, and manipulate the boom and stick. The design and controls make it easy to move earth or do any other of a number of tasks, like these:
- Material handling
- Forestry work
- River dredging
- Driving piles
- Removing snow
I mentioned the boom, and this is the section of the hydraulic arm closest to the vehicle. The boom is attached to the stick which is what the bucket is attached to the end of. The boom and stick are able to move up and around through hydraulics, which means it has a rod and piston. Oil gets pumped through one end of the piston which pushes the rod through the cylinder to move the arm.
Other Excavator Types
You could probably pull something like this off with other types of excavators also. Mini excavators are smaller but could still do the job. But long-reach excavators could make for a really fun ride. These have huge arms which make a huge radius when swinging them around. However, those long arms increase the risk of a possible tip-over if you start swinging it around quickly. A backhoe could be another good candidate in this unique form of entertainment.
The Risks of Playing with Heavy Equipment
I wonder what the risk of the cable snapping or another malfunction that could cause a disaster when doing something like this is. (Besthealthdegrees.com) put together some statistics about your chances of dying while engaging in certain risky activities. Bungee jumping deaths are only 1 in 500,000, so maybe there are similar statistics for something like this. Who knows?
Maybe getting swung around on an excavator will become the next popular form of entertainment. After all, some fear that we’re heading toward another recession, and this is certainly a lot cheaper than going to Disneyland. What do you think? Would you be willing to get strapped in and take a ride like this?