Michael Bullock has worked for SJH Groundworks, who are based in Herefordshire, for 41/2 years. Next Tuesday, Michael is leaving the UK to fly out to Perth in Western Australia to commence a year long working visa holiday operating excavators and other plant. During a round of drinks in the pub to celebrate his looming departure, Michael was presented with a gift from his boss Steve Holder, which replicated a sticky moment Michael found himself in 3 years ago.
During a very wet winter Michael was operating a 1999 JCB JS130, the tracks were heavily laden with wet clay and Michael described it as like being on a set of skis! As you can see above, the machine simply slid into the drink. The air box rapidly filled with water but luckily Michael turned off the machine quickly to prevent any engine damage.
Afterwards, the hole was drained of water, the machine was fired up, and it was able to pull itself out under its own power, however Michael’s pride was dented and he had to endure weeks of taunting from the lads who quickly nicknamed him “The man from Atlantis”.
The gift that was presented to Michael was a cake which depicts that day in all its glory, and as you can see it clearly catches the moment. Other operators at the farewell celebration were quick to point out that the cake appears to have been modelled on a circa 2008 onwards JCB 8080 ZTS due to the black rams, as opposed to the JS130 which was actually involved, but whatever the lads all had a good laugh about it!
The Digger Blog would like to wish Michael all the very best as he departs these shores on his Australian adventure, and we sincerely hope he will send us many more photos and tales depicting his machinery time and experiences down under. Bon Voyage.