Digging with Dave EP1


Digging with Dave is a new feature launching in this edition. Dave Vickers became the champion plant operator for 2021, in the very first UKPO Magazine Plant Operator of the year competition.

Since then, Dave has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the role of a Plant Operator, in addition to the attractiveness of the industry new recruits can now enjoy.

Working in tandem the magazine, Dave have specifically championed the skill, knowledge, expertise and role of UK Plant Operators and UK Contractors. Playing his part to fill the skills gap and attracting interest in joining the industry as an apprentice, or training to be a skilled operative.

Whilst all the time promoting supplier solutions that will make the industry safer, smarter and more sustainable.

Digital Mentor

Digging with Dave is targeting those new entrants to the industry. The program will work as a digital mentor, a place of reference, a place to get the answers to those key questions any new recruit into any industry faces.

We spoke to Dave about this new initiative, “Firstly I am pleased to be working with UKPO Magazine. Winning the competition back in 2021 has given me a great opportunity to put something back into the industry. I have enjoyed speaking to the new intake of plant operator apprentices over at the CITB National Training College in Bircham Newton. In addition to encouraging plant operators from across the UK to engage with the campaign, for those of you who came to finals day last year it was also a pleasure to commentate on the event”.

Dave went on to say…”I am really excited about Digging with Dave, another opportunity to help the industry. What Digging with Dave definitely is not, is teaching anyone how to suck eggs. Any help or support I can give, is primarily for people who have just entered the industry or have retrained to re-enter the industry”.

We have asked Dave to produce content that we believe will be both educational and informative. There is to be no stage managing or Hollywood production values, we simply want Dave, periodically, via his go-pro and mobile phone, to capture a selection of tasks that Plant Operators in their first year on site will be faced with.

Then with some accompanying commentary, Dave will talk through the task, give top tips and provide, we trust, a place of reference for new recruits.
In this first edition we find Dave working on a Clickers Construction project in Uttoxeter where they are clearing land ahead of a large house extension.

Watch the video to find out more and please share with any new recruits to the industry you feel might benefit from watching.

Where it started

In this first edition Dave takes us back to when as a 16-year-old, he had his digger tickets but felt a little helpless and thrown in at the deep end. He clearly knew the basics, but as we all know, you only really start learning when you get on site and get on the job.

We hear about the fact that as it is today, once qualified there are few places to learn the practical side of life on site and very few visual aids. Dave speaks from a position of experience, as mentioned earlier Dave had his tickets and was on site qualified at just 16 years old. But he struggled to get experience and people didn’t always take him seriously, he had to learn fast how to get hands on experience.

Some 23 years later Dave has his own fleet of machines and his own business. He has a passion for the industry and feels he has a lot to give back and wants to give a lot back.

UKPO Magazine have been delighted to continue our relationship with our first winner, Dave has a natural enthusiasm and desire to help, in particular new and inexperienced talent.

We thank Dave for his participation in this first edition, we trust that the advice imparted will be helpful and of use to the target audience.
Look out for Digging with Dave editions throughout the year, where we will cover advice on excavators, dumpers and telehandlers to name but a few. In addition to advice covering on site behaviour and etiquette.
We will upload the content as we create to the UK Plant Operator website and share on social media.

As ever we would like to hear from you about what you think of this initiative, what content you would like Dave to cover, and how else perhaps Digging with Dave can help recruit and retain Plant Operators into the industry.