Connecting New Zealand

Smooth operating secures success at Manawatū-Whanganui excavator skills showdown

08 Mar 2023

Jim Beamsley, of ARC Asbestos Removal and Demolition Ltd, notched up his third regional win at the Civil Contractors New Zealand CablePrice Manawatū-Whanganui Excavator Operator Competition on Sunday.

Beamsley’s smooth operating allowed him to best 13 other local operators at the National Driver Training Centre on 5 March, where the pressure of the tight contest was heightened by hot conditions. 

Unique challenges faced by the excavator operators on the day included a tricky log traverse challenge and a slalom course, as well as a classic test of skill requiring operators to use a 13-tonne digger to paint the word “dig” on a board.

He described the event as “awesome” with a great atmosphere.

“It’s just good to be out there… getting to show people what we can actually do in the machines, and it’s cool to see our friends and family there in support.”

Beamsley’s win will take him to the CCNZ CablePrice National Excavator Operator Competition finals at Manfeild Park on 17 and 18 March for his third attempt to try and clinch the national title. There, he will face off against the other regional champions as well as defending champion Troy Calteaux of Andrew Haulage 2011 Ltd. 

When asked what he thought his chances were of it being third time lucky this time round he was positive.

“I’ve got a different drive and focus now. I’m going to go in with a lot of really good energy… and give it my best.

“Hopefully it will be third time lucky – I just want to win it once. Surely this is my year.”

Beamsley explained that the biggest challenge he found was to get over his nerves, block out the pressure of everyone watching, and channel his focus. 

“It’s a difficult challenge, but I’m definitely less nervous than I used to be. 

“I still get nervous though because I know that the nationals are really hard compared to the regionals.” 
He got the bug for driving diggers in 2015, putting his skills to work in the demolition field, before that he carved out a ten-year career in civil works concrete placement. 

Beamsley said CCNZ’s excavator competitions were vital tools to inspire the next generation to become excavator operators. That was especially important in the aftermath of the Cyclone Gabrielle because more skilled operators than ever were required to help flooded communities recover and reconnect to the rest of the country.  

“When they see us at the competitions doing these cool little tricks you should see the kids’ faces light up. A young kid will be like 'wow I could do that'.”

Greg Lumsden, CCNZ Manawatū Whanganui Branch Chair has helped host more than 25 regional excavator competitions and said everything went well on the day.

“It was brilliant because it was a nice sunny day, and it went off without any hassles at all – a piece of cake.”

Sponsors for this year’s CCNZ CablePrice Manawatū-Whanganui Excavator Operator Competition included CablePrice, Hirepool Ltd, Connexis – Infrastructure Industry Training NZ, Humes Pipeline Systems, Firstgas, Z Energy, Attach2, Milwaukee Tools NZ.




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