I remarked to a media colleague that if they took a poll to see who had the coolest day at work on June 3, 2010, that we likely would be in the running for one of the top spots.
I say that because I just spent all day driving compact- and heavy-construction equipment at the Doosan/Bobcat Atlanta Media Event 2010 held at a local Bobcat dealership in the Atlanta area. The dealership is located in the shadows of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (I likely saw 50 - and that might be conservative - Delta planes, alone, land while I was there).
In addition to driving wheel loaders, excavators and utility carts (more on that in a minute) and making a gigantic mess of the dealership’s demonstration field, approximately 30 members of the construction media were educated on the newest Doosan and Bobcat machinery (some models are so new we’re not supposed to talk about them yet).
The real fun, though, happened after each of the two informational sessions. We were encouraged to test the goods out. Now I’m not the most mechanically inclined or the most coordinated person in the world and had never set foot in any type of construction machinery (I go about as far as having once owned a pickup truck), but I thought I held my own on the large - and I mean large - Doosan wheel loaders and excavators.
I also enjoyed digging with this one Bobcat excavator until it started jerking kind of violently - that’s the machine’s way of telling me I have no idea what I’m doing.
But what really caught my eye was the BMX bike-like track that was set up so we could drive the Bobcat utility carts. I’m also not the best driver in the world (my wife and my driving record can attest to that), but I thought, what the heck, I’ll give it a try.
The result? I made it around the course twice (which included a massive downhill dip and immediate steep uphill climb in mud) without myself or the Bobcat executive sitting next to me falling out into a pile of slop, or worse, the vehicle tipping over. I call that a success (I’m not so sure the instructor seated next to me would agree).
At the end of the day, everybody had a blast (despite scorching Atlanta heat and humidity making cameos after the lunch break) and Doosan and Bobcat put on a first-class event. But the real winners in this are the plumbing and construction professionals that will benefit from the latest technologies and work capacities these pieces of machinery have to offer.