GORHAM, NH – What child does not want to drive a shovel loader truck? No, seriously, kids desperately, deeply wish to drive giant construction vehicles. Girls and boys. Gender makes no difference when it comes to huge-wheeled, loud, smoke-belching behemoths scooping, plowing, carrying and hopefully, demolishing.
So, we were thrilled and little shocked to find a playground “ride” in the form of a shovel truck. I’m not sure what Teamster Union was owed what favor by what politician, but Gorham, NH, has taken playground rides to a level previously unencountered with this metal, sandbox scooper.
The rest of the playground is filled with boring, plastic lawsuit-proof rides. So, Janelle and I had no clue how this throw back managed to survive, but we were giddy with joy that it did.
First, the child must grasp the shovel levers, all the while maintaining balance on the uncomfortably sharp and hot (depending on the weather) bucket seat that looks like something you’d find on a John Deere Tractor.
At the same time, the seat swivels on what appears to be a ball-bearing post, so your little construction worker has the added challenge of not flying off the thing while scooping the sand. Finally, if little Davey Dirt Devil or Mary Mud Slinger manages to get a scoopful of sand, they must coordinate both their feet and hands to swivel the ride into a position to release the previously mentioned load.
If this ride is designed to illustrate just how hard it is to actually drive a shovel loader then is has wildly succeeded!
Did I mention how rickety the whole contraption is? At some point, it appears, the whole jalopy is going to come apart in a kid’s hands and ride and child will collapse in a heap of twisted metal and red paint chips! Until then, ride on Gorham Shovel Scooper! And please, support your local union!