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Established in the late 1980s at the same time as the national competition was first run, the event is held annually in conjunction with the Otago Taieri Agricultural and Pastoral Show.
The competition is divided into these categories:
SOCIAL: Contestants need to identify site hazards and complete all practical tasks.
NATIONAL: Contestants are required to answer multiple-choice questions in addition to completing practical tasks and identifying hazards.
COMPANIES: Operators manoeuvre their machines through a variety of tasks, for which they are given a score of between one and 10. Points for safety are also awarded.
CHALLENGING TASKS: The competitors will face challenges including: placing a soccer ball in an orange road cone; painting the sponsor's logo on a flat board with a paintbrush attached to a digger; hooking a teapot onto the tooth of a digger and pouring tea into cups on a table; identifying hazards on and in the ground.
FOR THE CHILDREN: Small diggers will be operating in a giant sandpit, supervised by contestants - for which points are awarded.