You can drive monster machines at this construction equipment playground

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At Dig This Las Vegas, located just off the Vegas strip, you can unleash your inner “Bob the Builder” and operate monstrous machines like bulldozers and excavators. When I went, I got to have the “Big Dig” experience, in which I singlehandedly operated a Caterpillar 315C excavator through a series of activities.

A certified instructor guides you every step of the way via headset as you familiarize yourself with the controls before advancing to more complex tasks like digging holes and stacking tires. This is what it’s like to experience a construction equipment playground. Following is a transcript of the video.

Graham Flanagan: I’m here at Dig This Las Vegas. It’s a construction equipment playground where you can live out your childhood dreams of being able to operate heavy machinery like bulldozers and excavators.
But first, you’ve gotta sign some waivers, you’ve gotta take a breathalyzer test, which is very important, and then you’ve got to put on this vest here for safety reasons. Before I head out to the playground I have to take a 10-15 minute training course to make sure I’m safe out there. That’s it – that’s the safety course. I guess I’m ready!

{You get to operate a 315C excavator. It weighs about 37,000 pounds. The “Big Dig” experience costs $269 and lasts one hour.}

Junior Diaz:
My name is Junior Diaz. I am an instructor and I teach people how to have fun in heavy equipment that have never been on any equipment in their life.

{First, you get used to the controls.}

Diaz: Rotate that cab – left joystick to the left as hard as you can. All the way around. Faster! Faster! Come on! Commit! There it is! Are you ready to do that push-up or what?

{Time to dig!}

Diaz: Oh, yeah. Get that first scoop. Good job! Alright, let’s boom up. Bring it up out of the hole.

{Then you get to stack some tires. Here’s where things get challenging … You play a game of “basketball.”}

Diaz: Good job!

{Then you get to go wild!}

Diaz: How was that?

Flanagan: That was awesome, man! That is such a blast. It is so cool to be in charge of such a big, powerful machine!

Diaz: Did you get your mind off life for a moment?

Flanagan: I did. You know, when I was moving that dirt and stacking those tires, it was just a way for me to kind of zone out, you know? Just focus on simple tasks.

Diaz: And that’s what we want you guys to do when you come out to Vegas. Just tap into your inner child and have fun!

Flanagan: Thank you so much, sir. That was great!

What was the biggest challenge you think I had out there?

Diaz: The biggest challenge for you? I would say, just getting your right from your left down (LAUGHTER).

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