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Video: Kubota Nerves of Steel excavator competition

The Kubota Nerves of Steel competition is a game of skill in which contestants use Kubota excavators to complete tasks such as picking up balls and placing them in a bucket, using a grab attachment to pick up and stack blocks, and swinging a tractor wheel attached to a chain through a set of obstacles. Quickest time wins.

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The team from headed down to Kubota Australia HQ in Truganina last weekend to check out the action for the video above. The equipment you can see the contestants operating are: the Kubota KX018-4 (1.65 tonnes) for the ball challenge; the Kubota U35-4 (3.5 tonnes) with the grab unit; and the Kubota U55-4 (5.3 tonnes) for the tractor wheel and chain challenge.

Each event is co-hosted by a state dealer, and the honour this round went to Supergroups of Hallam

“The competition has been very successful with good turn up on all events,” Supergroups’ David Tregenza says. “The event runs from April 3 until September 30, so we still have a few events to go.”

It’s not just fun and games — there’s some serious prize money on offer. The winner receives $30,000, with $10,000 and $5,000 second and third prizes, and all other finalists get $1,000.

“These guys are a bit serious and a few nerves, not too much joking going on when the prize money is up there,” Tregenza says. “We have one operator came up to us at the end of his skills test pretty happy with himself asking where does he pick up his first place prize cheque from, thinking he had it smashed with a time of 2.24.

“We had to let him down gently and said he’d better look at the results online first — he was way off the mark!”

He sure was: at the time of writing, the Kubota Nerves of Steel competition was being led by Daniel Walsh (from the Hallem, Vic, round) with a time of 1:41.12, closely followed by Ben Hookstra (also Hallem) with 1:42.90 and Mervin Hall (Civenex, NSW) on 1:47.32.

The competition will come to a head when all state finalists will be flown to Melbourne to compete in the ultimate excavator challenge.

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