Feature Flick: Basketball with Earth Movers

Playing in the dirt seems to be an innate part of childhood for many of us. Although many outgrow the urge to play with Tonka toys by a certain age, for some of us, the desire just gets strong with time, and we want to take the controls of the real-life power equipment.

But Wide Open Throttle's Jessi Lang, a self-confessed tomboy who grew up in a rural area surrounded by power equipment, pounced at the opportunity to learn how to operate power equipment at Dig This facilities in Las Vegas. A hands-on experience guided by an experienced power equipment instructor, the course includes an orientation, and some unexpected and fun activities designed to teach finesse and accurate control, such as playing basketball with a backhoe.

Initially eager to grab the controls and go wild in the dirt lot, Lang becomes intently focused once in the cab of the machines, and gets a much greater appreciation for the capability of the power equipment. Although powered by diesel engines only producing around 130 hp, Dig This instructor Jerry Wheeler explains that the engine acts as a hydraulic pump for the rest of the machine, and when that seemingly modest output is channeled as

pressure to the machine's focal point, they're capable of herculean tasks.

Watch Jessi learn how to handle these massive machines in this week's Wide Open Throttle! And be sure to tune in to the Motor Trend Channel regularly, where fresh enthusiast content is being added all the time.

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