Just like Lego

A 1.8-tonne mechanical digger that breaks down into loads capable of being carried by a helicopter had a successful first run near Wanaka this week.

The machine can be disassembled in 30 minutes and reassembled in 30 minutes and is intended for use in areas inaccessible by road.

The machine was configured by Gough Caterpillar for Alpine Helicopters, Wanaka.

Alpine Group general manager Jonathan Wallis said a trial at Minaret Station yesterday went smoothly.

Gough Otago territory manager Brent Duncan said as well as the $50,000 machine, his company had provided ''the tool kit, the training and the procedure to follow'' for taking it apart and putting it back together.

A similar exercise had previously been carried out on a digger in North Otago.

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