Dalton man takes on the digger challenge for Team GB

Dalton's Jimmy Binks, centre, with team mates Richard Christian from the Isle of Man, left, and Robert Broadwood from Oxford. (S)
Dalton's Jimmy Binks, centre, with team mates Richard Christian from the Isle of Man, left, and Robert Broadwood from Oxford. (S)
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A DALTON man has helped Britain to second prize in a European digger driving championship.

Groundworks contractor Jimmy Binks took part in the Case Rodeo European Championships in Paris, after winning a place in the GB national team by triumphing in a UK heat in the summer.

Concentration as Jimmy Binks takes part in one of the competition's challenges. (S)

Concentration as Jimmy Binks takes part in one of the competition's challenges. (S)

He travelled to France in October for three days of tests and challenges against 40 other competitors from across Europe.

The British team took second place, losing out to reigning champions Belgium and beating Denmark into third place.

Jimmy and his team mates faced four different challenges. The first – and most complicated – involved using the back actor, or back hoe, of a digger to extract two footballs from underneath a plastic bucket and place them into a bin.

Next the drivers had to use a wheeled loader to move poles around a course by reversing at high speed.

In the third event competitors tackled a tracked skid steer – a vehicle with tracks in place of wheels. With a bucket full of water complete with a pair of floating rubber ducks, the drivers had to navigate their way across a rough course without losing the ducks or touching the cones around the tracks. To make the challenge even more demanding, the competitors then had to take the course again in reverse.

Lastly, drivers were asked to use a 25 tonne excavator to pick up and manoeuver a tennis ball on a string.

It was Jimmy’s first taste of international digger competitions, and he said he is keen to represent his country again next year, and even take the trophy from two-time winners Belgium.