Excavator operator extraordinaire, Liam Bryan, better known as @diggerbry on social media, joins Taylor for a very special episode of the CONEXPO-CON/AGG podcast. Starting out as a bricklayer and eventually becoming an expert excavator who captivates online audiences with his finesse in asphalt fine grading, Liam’s journey within the construction industry is a truly remarkable one. Today, he shares details of this journey, highlighting his dedication and determination, as well as the thrill of creating engaging content on social media.
Liam’s tale is one of breaking barriers, defying skepticism, and proving that age and background are no hindrance to achieving excellence, all while advocating for better opportunities for future excavator operators. With unparalleled enthusiasm, Liam’s online presence showcases his exceptional excavator operating skills, leading him to become a beacon for the next generation of excavator operators, encouraging them to follow their dreams in the field. Delving into the camaraderie and pride within the construction industry, Liam's captivating videos celebrate the joy and passion of his work, promoting construction careers to a broader audience through the power of social media. Listen in today and prepare to be inspired by Liam’s journey of self-discovery, as he proves that social media in construction can, indeed, be done differently, and that personal growth and success know no bounds in the construction world.
- Liam Bryan's unique journey from bricklayer to social media sensation in the construction industry.
- Embracing the challenge of fine grading asphalt
- Overcoming skepticism and age-related obstacles
- Showcasing the camaraderie and pride within the construction industry
- The impact of social media in promoting construction careers to a broader audience
- Liam's pursuit of excellence and determination to break barriers
- His journey of self-discovery, from laborer to esteemed excavator operator
- The importance of finding mentors and support
- Harnessing social media to promote a positive image of construction careers
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Taylor White: Welcome back, everybody, to the CONEXPO-CON/AGG Podcast. I am your host, Taylor White. As always, this episode is brought to you by our good friends over at Komatsu Construction. We appreciate them and you should, too. Today with me, I have the one and only Liam, he goes by diggerbry. He is from Birmingham, which is actually the second person we've had from the UK. But the first person that, from what I've seen, is an absolute animal on a Rototilt and spreading some asphalt—we call it asphalt here in North America. And I can't wait to talk to you a little bit more, Liam. Thanks for coming on, dude.
Liam Bryan: No, thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be on your podcast and yeah, I really enjoy them. I’m really going to enjoy it.
Taylor White: Tell us a little bit about yourself for people listening right now. Who's diggerbry and who's Liam? Who's the man behind that name?
Liam Bryan: So my name is Liam Bryan. I've been driving an excavator for nine years. I've done a bit of traveling in that time, so I've managed to go overseas to Australia and I've operated over there, and I came back in 2020 during the pandemic. After that, I basically started up a LinkedIn when I got back to work. After that, I just started to get a lot of engagement. I started posting videos and stuff, and then I decided to start an Instagram and then I got given a tilt rotator and yeah, it's just been a very good experience since then, really.
Taylor White: Yeah, no, I can tell. Where did you kind of start, though? I'm interested in, like, I get you went to Australia and I want to get into that as well, too. And I'm very interested in kind of why you came back post-pandemic or pre-pandemic or during. But what got you into the love of running excavators? Was it a family member or where you grew up blue collar?
Liam Bryan: So I was laboring for bricklayers, and whilst I was doing this, I was around heavy machinery—excavators—and from that, I just fell in love with it. And because I was a bricklayer, I knew I had to go into groundworks. So that's something I decided to pack in what I was doing as laboring and decided to go into groundworks because I knew it was the next step of getting on an excavator.
Taylor White: Is that something over where you are then? You kind of put that feeler out there with the company? I guess I should have asked this. Are you running your own show or are you working for somebody else?
Liam Bryan: No, so I work for somebody else. I work for my best friend's company—well, I work for his company now, but we also worked for his uncle's company growing up, so I was always around the machines. Obviously, as soon as I joined with him and being with him, then I just started asking questions about how to get on there, and I would always ask the drivers how they think I should get on there. And, like you say, again, it was always I found that their fathers and their family got them introduced to it, and this was something that I never had. So, yeah, it made it obviously difficult for me because no one would let me have the experience or gain the experience.
Taylor White: That's a really important part. I mean, there's a lot of times right now where guys are in the exact same position, such as yourself. And obviously, I was in a privileged position, and I'll be the first to admit that. Family business, dad, growing up in the business, here's machinery, hop in it whenever I wanted. Kind of do my own thing. But for guys such as yourself, guys and girls such as yourself, you want the experience, and you want to go and do it, but you necessarily don't know how or what the right way to go about it is. I think that's what's pretty incredible about you is you've kind of gone from this guy who you were doing bricklaying—this is kind of what I do, talking to the digger drivers—you guys call them diggers over there?
Liam Bryan: Yeah, excavator operators.
Taylor White: Yeah, we call them shovel operators. And then kind of going to this guy now that you've created an impressive following online of you do some of the most, I would say top 1% of excavator operators can do. I mean, you're grading asphalt with an excavator with a Rototilt, which is not and you're not with a gray beam. I mean, maybe you have some stuff with a gray beam, but you're doing it with a bucket. I really want to know– So now we know how you got in the machine. Tell me, how did you get– Again, so from my perspective, I've always said this from day one, I believe that machine operating is in your blood. Now, I know a lot of people are going to say, well, it's something that can be taught, and it is. Everyone, I learn every day how to be better, how to be better. I'm such as yourself, you learn new tricks, new ways to maneuver your bucket, new this, new that, and better ways to position yourself. But I feel like it's something that you have in you. Heavy equipment operating is in you. How did you go from bricklayer wanting to do it to what you're doing right now?
Liam Bryan: Yeah, it was just the passion and the love I had for it. When I did first start, I obviously asked people what I need to be doing on the machine to be good. And it was always grading. That's just something that stuck in my head about grading. So grading is just something that I've always gone the extra mile on. And I knew if I conquered that, then it would help me with going forward with my job. So, yeah, on that I just started doing it and, yeah, I really wanted to help my friends out around me and obviously having the asphalt, it's a very hard job to do because when I grew up, it was always in piles. You'd have to pull it out in piles for them and they would rake it. And yeah, one day I just thought I would try it. And ever since that day, I've never looked back. Over the years, I've just got better and better at it, really.
Taylor White: Is that normal? Grading asphalt with a digger over there?
Liam Bryan: No, it's just something, again, where I just thought outside the box. And I just tried it one time and it pulled it off. And obviously to do it in front of a lot of people as well, and obviously when you're telling everyone to move out the way I've got this, there's a lot of pressure. But it's just something once I've done it, that once, I've just loved it ever since. And now I'm getting even more creative with it. I had a video not long ago that has just completely blew up, but with this video, I really thought outside the box and there was a footpath and I measured my bucket. I could tell that I could get my bucket within this footpath. And, yeah, I ended up tarmacking it all with my bucket. And ever since that, it's just blown up.
Taylor White: When you look at construction as a whole, now more than ever, it's more important for people such as myself or yourself to kind of show that in the video. Show the camaraderie with the crew or just the enjoyment or the passion for your job like you have. You're talking about basically, I got to the point of where I'm at because I love what I do, which is so important, and not a lot of people get to say that. And in blue-collar construction work or the industry we're in, there's such a camaraderie within the crew and your job, and I feel like we're just super proud to do what we do. How has that kind of influenced your platform, and I guess the style of the videos that you produce?
Liam Bryan: Well, it’s influenced a lot, really. Because it’s bringing people into the labor I’m doing and that’s something already like the youth and still fly back and really getting engaged in what we’re doing. So it’s making people who are going to be coming out in the industry really enjoy what I’m doing, and I feel like it’s going to push them to do what I’m doing and that’s something I am really feeding off and I want to continue doing and continue pushing what I’m doing. And obviously, I really really enjoy thinking outside of the box and helping others enjoy what I am doing.
Taylor White: Yeah, well, it's very apparent from your videos, I mean, you're posting stuff that makes people kind of go, wow, it's super fantastic, man. It's pretty wild.
Liam Bryan: Yeah. I am really shocked the amount of people it has wowed, really. I've had a lot of famous, and a lot of people ask me a lot of questions, and I'm just buzzing off it, really.
Taylor White: But to be that good at what you're doing, to be that good at fine grading asphalt where the variance is very small. You have to be very precise. What traits do you think makes a person like you succeed at that? Obviously, it's passion. I get that 100%. But you have to have good hand-eye. You have to have good peripherals. You have to have the foresight of where I'm dumping this pile, where that pile is going.
Liam Bryan: A lot of my friends say, like, the OCD kind of thing, everything has just got to be perfect with me, and I can't stop until it is perfect. So I'll just keep on going, and that's something that has helped me a lot over the years. And if it's not perfect, then I won't settle for any less. And like I say, keep on doing that has got me to where I am now.
Taylor White: Is there anything other in construction that has ever been really interesting to you? Have you ever thought, okay, listen, you're pretty much a master at what you're doing now, what's the next step for diggerbry? What's the next step? I mean, always in a digger, or is it like, hey, I want to progress and move on to this in the industry to help this?
Liam Bryan: No, I love what I'm doing on a machine. I just want to keep inspiring people and wanting to come into what I'm doing. And I really just want to inspire everyone around the world into being a machine driver because myself, it wasn't an easy way to get in. And I just want to show everyone it can be easy. And I just want to send that message out there.
Taylor White: So I'll ask you a question that strikes my mind. So my question is, you always have a lot of people that say, I want to help and inspire and do this and that, which is we need that. We need 100% of that. My question then, and maybe that kind of answers it, is you want to help the people that don't have necessarily an in, right? People the opposite of the spectrum of myself. Why? Why do you care?
Liam Bryan: Because it really affected me from the start, and I feel like it's made me the operator I am now because I've pushed myself more than ever. I've just wanted to prove all these people that I wasn't too young and I can do it. And I did have a lot of setbacks in that. And I've always been looked at differently because of my age, as I was when I got into this. And that's something that I think needs to change. And when I was trying to get experience on the machine, no one would let me. And I would used to ask site agents and staff if I could have a go on machine. And they used to say I wasn't allowed to have a go on the site because I haven't got my ticket and they can't trust me on it. So from that, it was just how is any young lad getting into the industry meant to get the chance to learn?
And I ended up finding myself on my break times. I wasn't meant to, but on my break times, I used to get one of the machine drivers to park a five-ton machine at the bottom of the job, out the way, where I was safe, and for three or four months solid, I wouldn't have a break time. I would just consistently just have a go on it, just try and get as much experience as I can. And, yeah, that's how I managed to get my experience. And other people who can't get that experience would essentially have to turn up at a test center being able to drive it, and it's just not possible, is it? No one's going to look competent on a machine jumping on it for the first time that has never been on it. So that's something I really want to change, and yeah, that's just something I really want to change and want people to get where I am now.
Taylor White: So it sounds kind of like you definitely had the right trajectory, and probably you're at your best friend's company. Were you at your best friend's company when you were a bricklayer, or you went from bricklaying to your best friend's company?
Liam Bryan: No, so I was at his uncle's company then, but now, where I'm at now with the tilt rotator, I'm at my best friend's company.
Taylor White: So it definitely helps in the industry to make sure you're with the right people as well, too. That helps.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, definitely. And he's had a very big influence on my career and everything, and now he's providing me with this equipment, these tilt rotators, and I couldn't thank him anymore.
Taylor White: What piece of advice then would you give to somebody in the position of, hey, I'm a laborer, I'm laboring for a construction company. I have ground guys. I don't know what you call them. You call them laborers, guys that are just like hand shoveling or guys.
Liam Bryan: Laborers, yeah.
Taylor White: Yeah, you’re just a laborer. You’re at this company and your boss is like, yeah, someday, someday, someday. But you want the experience and you have zero experience. The only shovel you’ve operated is the hand shovel. How do you get from– You mentioned earlier you were constantly asking questions or you seem interested, tell me how did you get from doing that to operating and being an incredible operator and being a very strong asset to a company.
Liam Bryan: I just feel like you need to keep pushing yourself because as I was as a laborer for laborers now to see where I am, they just can't believe it. And obviously I just want to show them that it is possible. And I did have a few setbacks in the sense of telling me I weren't allowed on them, but I ended up paying for it myself out of ending up saving my own money and getting it on myself because it said I was too young.
Taylor White: Getting what?
Liam Bryan: Getting my machine ticket.
Taylor White: So do you have to have a ticket over there?
Liam Bryan: Yes.
Taylor White: Oh, shoot. So you can’t work without a ticket in an excavator.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, you have to have a ticket.
Taylor White: Really?
Liam Bryan: Yes.
Taylor White: That is very interesting. You do not need anything over here. See, I hire farm kids because they grow up running the stuff and then they're really good at it.
Liam Bryan: Yes, we need tickets. You obviously have to pass the test and everything.
Taylor White: That's probably not cheap.
Liam Bryan: No, it's not. No. But you need to have the experience to get on it. But like I say, I did get told I was too young at one time and I ended up paying it myself. And then ever since that, the opportunities then come up on the site where people would have days off and stuff, and that was my chance to jump on it. And ever since then, I've just shown them that I can drive them.
Taylor White: I like the way that you said earlier you're like I was told throughout the whole career, I was too young or I couldn't do it or stuff like that. And it kind of has a sense of like you're grabbing motivation from others wanting to see your downfall or not wanting to see you succeed. And a lot of the time you see online people saying, don't do it for that, do it for yourself. And I think, like yourself. I always think I grew up, although I had this opportunity in front of me of a family business, I always grew up my whole life with teachers and people in school or my friends, being like, the third generation is going to mess it up, you're going to screw it up. It'll become nothing. Silver spoon. You won't do anything. Well, in the past four years, we've grown our business from three employees to 25, and then in the next 10 years, we'll go to 75 employees. And all I got to say is kind of watch me do it. You know what I mean? So I really like that about you. That is kind of motivating. And there is a sense where, I mean, I'm doing it obviously for myself and do it for my family, my daughter, my wife, and all this stuff, but I like that because it does motivate you.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, it really affected me on the money sense as well because of my age. So when I did get to a point where– Well, I was getting to a point where I did think I was good, but I really got put down on the money because of the thought I was a child, but I was still doing the same things as others. And it got to a point where I thought to myself, I'm gaining experience on this excavator. I'm just going to work my butt off, really. I'm going to make sure I'm the best I am and I can be. And then I'm going to get to a stage where I'm just going to put it to my bosses and stuff. And if they don't accept what I want and stuff like that, then I'm just going to have to go somewhere else and really just spread my wings because I knew I was at that stage where I wanted more.
Taylor White: How old are you?
Liam Bryan: I'm 28.
Taylor White: We're the exact same age.
Liam Bryan: Yeah. 28. Yeah.
Taylor White: How old were you when you got into the cab of an excavator?
Liam Bryan: 16. Around 16, 17.
Taylor White: Okay, so 12 years you've been at it?
Liam Bryan: Yeah, but I have obviously been three, four of those years. I've done backpacking around Asia and Australia.
Taylor White: Okay, so tell me about Australia I'm interested in that. Okay, clearly you like traveling, so what is it with Australia? Where did you go? What made you leave? Because you're from Birmingham, sorry?
Liam Bryan: Yes, I'm from Birmingham.
Taylor White: Okay, cool. So then you left Australia?
Liam Bryan: Yes. So I'm from Birmingham and yeah, I was in my work and stuff and I've just always had and something in me that wanted to travel.
Taylor White: And it's in human nature. Yeah, I come across something of excavating in Australia and I was just in love. So in my head, I was going to go out to Australia and be an excavator operator and travel around Australia. That's what I had. But because I was about 20, 21 when I went and when I've gone out there as a backpacker, I thought I would be able to just jump on an excavator over there. When I got there, the same thing happened again. I would tell these companies that I'm an excavator and everything, and because I was labeled as a backpacker, no one ever took me serious. And I kind of struggled with my first year. If I would have had what I have now in LinkedIn and Instagram something to show them something to just show them that I am an excavator operator, I think I would have got given the chance. But, yeah, I had the same struggles out there, but I ended up coming back home. I ended up coming back home from Australia and I was back for about eight months and then I decided to get back out there again.
Taylor White: No way.
Liam Bryan: Yeah. So I had eight months on the machine again and then went back out there. And thankfully a company out there gave me the opportunity to drive.
Taylor White: It wasn't Jimmy Starbuck, was it?
Liam Bryan: No.
Taylor White: Do you know him?
Liam Bryan: No. No, I don't.
Taylor White: Okay. You should look him up. He's good. He's been on the podcast before. He owns an excavation company out of Melbourne.
Liam Bryan: I worked on the Pacific Highway in Coff’s Harbour. Yeah, I really enjoyed it. I also worked on the railway and I gained a lot of experience from that. And I feel like when I did come back from all that, that's when everything, all that experience and stuff like that, that's just where I am, where I am now, really. Everything just took off from there. Come back then, started my LinkedIn and yeah, it's just been crazy.
Taylor White: Good for you. Well, I mean, it's kind of those experiences in life that kind of make you the man you are. I mean, it's not easy packing up and leaving and going and then not getting what you want and then coming back and then leaving and going back. And like you traveled to Asia. Where in Asia did you go?
Liam Bryan: I'd done all of Southeast Asia.
Taylor White: Thailand?
Liam Bryan: Yeah, Thailand. Vietnam. Cambodia.
Taylor White: Cambodia?
Liam Bryan: Yeah. Bali, Hong Kong. Philippines. Yeah, all over. But with me obviously getting experience on the machine, there is a lot of obviously saving my money up with it to do these kind of things. So I really pushed myself to obviously achieve me doing my traveling as well. So I've always had a good motive with it. I've always had things come in my path to push me. I could have easily just said, I'll leave it, but I've always took it as motivation and that's why I feel like I am where I am now because I've just never give up. And my dad's really helped me with that as well. He's always pushed me and yeah, I'm just glad I stuck with it.
Taylor White: Good for you. What was it with LinkedIn? How come LinkedIn? I'm interested in that. Well, how come you started on LinkedIn? Because I was the last person in the world to come to LinkedIn. I always said it was horse crap. I was like, LinkedIn doesn't work, it's stupid. But how did you start on LinkedIn?
Liam Bryan: So it all goes back to being my age and stuff like that and having setbacks. So LinkedIn, I started LinkedIn because I wanted to showcase my talent. I was doing things at work and I'm one of them. I'm really passionate about my work and stuff and I would have worked out on display and it never got the recognition that I wanted. So from bosses and stuff like that, it just never got recognized. Like I say, I don't know what I wanted, but I just wanted something from all the hard work I was doing. And LinkedIn was something where I have seen people were showcasing all their work. So as soon as I have seen this, I thought right then, I'm going to start posting my work on LinkedIn. And ever since I had done that, it was just crazy, the comments and all the support I had, and it really showed me that I was doing a good job. And it was something that really helped me to where I am now because, like I say, I've been respected for what I do now. And yeah, I'm really happy for that.
Taylor White: Yeah, I'm looking here. You got like 3000 people on your LinkedIn.
Liam Bryan: Yeah.
Taylor White: That's pretty incredible. And then your Instagram is even more, I mean, you got like 80,000 on Instagram, 87,000. So how did Instagram kind of pop off then, too? So you started on LinkedIn how many years ago?
Liam Bryan: When I come back from traveling. So that was 2020.
Taylor White: So in 2020, so three years ago, you started LinkedIn. When did you start Instagram?
Liam Bryan: I've had Instagram probably a year and a half now.
Taylor White: So in a year and a half, you've gotten– How many do you have on Instagram?
Liam Bryan: I think it's 85,000.
Taylor White: How did you manage to do that in a year and a half? I've been at it for four years, man.
Liam Bryan: My first couple, I did get obviously recognized a little bit, but I did a Tarmac video. So this Tarmac video, I got 7 million views, and it was probably my–
Taylor White: That's mega-viral.
Liam Bryan: Yeah. So it was probably like my 8th video I posted. And I think it took me like four months, whatnot, to gain– No, sorry. It took me about six months to gain 9000 followers. And then after that video, I gained 30,000 followers just off the bat in about three weeks.
Taylor White: That's wild. It's a crazy feeling. It's a rush. Yeah, I know what you're talking about. I've never had it to that scale. But when something goes viral and those notifications and then those follows start coming in, it's like, I'm onto something. And I got to keep that up - the rush.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, I got a lot of my friends involved with it. I never forget where I was at the pub one night and my phone was just honestly just friends, requests, likes. And obviously because it's all happened so fast as well, it's hard to take in and to see how my friends were reacting from it and stuff like that, it really did sink in, what was happening. But like you say, ever since that, I've had a rush and all I've ever tried to do is just think outside the box and just keep pushing myself. Recently, I've just had another video and that just hit over 43 million views on Instagram.
Taylor White: On Instagram? Yeah.
Liam Bryan: On Instagram? Yeah.
Taylor White: Are you seeing it relate to that many viewers as well too, then? Or that many follows?
Liam Bryan: Yes. So I've gained 30,000 followers in a month off that one video.
Taylor White: Dude.
Liam Bryan: But this video is obviously, like I said, it's something that I really fought out the box with.
Taylor White: Dude, look at your views. 2.9 million. 7.4 million. 2.3 million. 126,000. Good for you. So what are you filming these with? Are you putting a GoPro up in the top left hand corner of your cab?
Liam Bryan: Yeah, that's it. Yeah, just the GoPro.
Taylor White: And then are you editing them yourself?
Liam Bryan: Yeah, editing them myself. They only take me two minutes to edit. I just have to clip the start clip the end because of me reaching back to press it on and yeah, I just obviously speed it up.
Taylor White: Throw some music on with it.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, music. I think the music's really helped me as well because I feel like I've got a taste of music that it does reach to a certain criteria of people. And I feel like it has helped me. I've had certain people even just message me saying, you're helping me with my playlist and stuff because they just love the songs as well that I'm pulling on.
Taylor White: Yeah, I think that plays into it totally. Because if I thought like– Okay. Because you guys over there got Rototilts long before us, we're just catching on. We're over here in the west kind of like, “Oh, woolly Rototilts, they look kind of cool,” you know what I mean? And now we're finally just trying them. But when I think over where you guys are, a Rototilt machine, I'm thinking, do you run a wheeled excavator ever?
Liam Bryan: No, just tracked.
Taylor White: When I think that, I'm thinking like, okay, rototill digging around a manhole and like that song that's like, in my– Don't tell me you've never done a video to that song. You have?
Liam Bryan: No, I haven’t.
Taylor White: Oh, come on. You totally had to.
Liam Bryan: I might be doing one now. Definitely.
Taylor White: It's pretty amazing, man. And you're catching the eyes of a lot of people. I mean, you signed on with driven talent. Do you know Conor, the Digger Driver? Does he ever reach out? Because you guys are over there together, right? How close is he to you? He's a good dude. I want to get him on the pod.
Liam Bryan: Yeah. He don't live far away from me. Birmingham.
Taylor White: You guys got to mingle up here and do a little video together.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. No, he's a very good lad, and what he's doing is very good as well. Obviously, I respect what he's doing, and to be honest, he was one of the first ones around doing it. So it's something that I've wanted to do since I've seen what he's doing as well.
Taylor White: So what, I guess, is the progression of diggerbry then online? What are you hoping for? Because I actually saw one of your cool videos the other day, you were showing you getting up kind of early in the morning, showing your alarm. It was like 05:15 AM. or 05:20 AM. And I really respect the fact that you're taking the time out of your life because time is the most valuable thing we have. You're taking the time to show people like, hey, this is what it's like. And although it's not glorious, there are lots of days where it's raining and it's dark and you're up at 05:00 AM. And what's your plan with showing all this? I know you want to inspire and show people, but where do you kind of go from here? What's the plan?
Liam Bryan: Yeah, like I keep referring to, I just want to just show everyone it can be good. I don't know if people have just got an image of how construction sites are, but I just want to really showcase to people how it can be and how fun it can be. And I like that everything's been involved with social media and stuff like that now, and that's something I think the youth obviously coming up into it to know that they can do social media and work. It's just brilliant, really.
Taylor White: Yeah, no, I totally respect that, man. I think we need more of that people showing kind of what it actually is like in the industry. And as well as rather than just showing, okay, I'm here and this is me here, you're trying to show like, okay, this is me here, but this is how I got here, which is really important as well, too. Did you do any apprentice programs or anything like that?
Liam Bryan: Yes, I did do an apprentice program, so that was doing groundwork. So, yeah, I did that for– When I first started, I think it was like an eight-month course. And that was really good to do. And it helped me before I did get onto site as well. Well, I only had to do it one day a week, and then I was on site for the rest of the week, so, yeah, it really does help to know what's going on site before you get there. And with health and safety because there's a lot of health and safety on site, and you've really got to watch what you're doing. And me being an excavator on my jobs, you have a lot of people, a lot of people coming in and out from you, and you have to really be alert of what you're doing.
Taylor White: Oh, yeah. I always say to our crew in the morning, one small little movement of the hand can be the decision of life or death. And it's insane.
Liam Bryan: And some people just don't care, really, as well. You get people just creeping up from the back of you and stuff, and you've really got to keep your wits about you and really be on the ball.
Taylor White: Tell me about your setup. What are you running, what kind of machine, what size? And then what tilt rotator are you running?
Liam Bryan: So, I'm on a Hitachi-7, so it's one of the new Hitachis that they've brought out. It's a 13-ton tracked machine, and I'm running an engcon tiltrotator.
Taylor White: engocon. I'm a Rototilt guy, so we might have a little bit of a problem.
Liam Bryan: I also have been on Steelwrist as well.
Taylor White: Oh, really? Nice. Yeah, there are a couple of them here. There's not so much engcon out here, to be honest with you. I would say 90% of people out here are Rototilt. They just have the market here.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, I haven't been on a Rototilt yet, but, yeah, like I say, engcon and Steelwrist, that's the two I've been involved with, but since I've been involved with these, it's made me love my job a lot more. A lot of people always say to me, they're very jealous of how much I do love my job. And now, to look at other people, I do feel very lucky to love getting up every morning and doing what I do. And, yeah, I am a lucky lad in that sense.
Taylor White: Yeah, well, that's just it, right? I mean, there are so many people that wake up every day and they hate getting to work, or they don't want to wake up and go to their thing. So, not just even construction-specific, but if you want to wake up every day and love what you do, there's always some risk involved in doing that, which may be yours was saving up all this money and having to go to school and spend it on the school. And necessarily, you didn't really know if it was going to pan out or not. You could have maybe lost everything and saved up all this money you could have used for a house, but instead, you did that, which is pretty impressive, but that was to chase the goal of waking up every day and knowing that you love what you love. Did you start off on a Rototilt?
Liam Bryan: No, I started off just a normal machine.
Taylor White: So how long have you been running a Rototilt?
Liam Bryan: Coming up to just over a year now. Yeah, just over a year.
Taylor White: Holy. If everyone listening on audio, my jaw just dropped. What? No way, man.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, like you say, it's just been crazy. When I first had it, I thought to myself–
Taylor White: You want to move to Canada? You want a job? You should be the first hire on the podcast. You name your price, you come on over. I got two Rototilts. I'll buy a machine for you. Let's go. You like Komatsus. We'll buy a Komatsu. We'll do that.
Liam Bryan: No, but, like I say, when I did get on it, it did blow my mind. I thought to myself, I would just be able to use it as a normal machine. And I never forget I had it. I went to go and grade off normal and I was just stabbing the ground because of the weight on the end. And when I'd done that, I was like, "Jesus Christ". I thought I'd be able to do it. And there was just so much more to it.
Taylor White: It's like learning how to operate all over again.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, all over again. Like I say, there are people out there who can obviously take the fins quicker than others. And then, obviously, but with another thing with that, I think people have got to watch what they're doing. Because when you have projects up and running that are just so full force and you get given one of these and you haven't had the experience and they still want you to carry on doing the same work, then you know yourself you're starting all over again. There's a lot of pressure to learn it and to continue on with the work. So there would be good to I would like more places where you could go and operate them before you do use them and to give people experience before they start.
Taylor White: So, somebody that's really good on a Rototilt, then would you say that you should start without a Rototilt and then move on to a Rototilt or what do you think if somebody just started straight up on a machine with sorry, I'm saying Rototilt, but a tilt rotator on their machine?
Liam Bryan: Well, I think you should start off, like I say myself, I started off from a five-ton machine and I've built myself all the way up. So, I feel like you do need to have the experience on that type as well, of just a normal quick hitch bucket. But when you do start to get experienced on that, that's when I do think you should move on to a tilt rotator. But like you say, there's just so much more to it and it's just so fun. And now, like I say, the things I can just make up just being so creative. That's why I feel like I am getting the views and stuff that I am getting because I'm just doing things that haven't been done yet.
Taylor White: Yeah, no, I would totally agree with that. But I think, like one of the points where you were saying, I think it's really important to start on a smaller machine because we have a 36-ton, but then we have an eight-ton and it's harder to fine grade on an eight-ton than it is a 36-ton. I mean, not a fine grade, but the smaller machine, the harder it is. Because with a larger machine, you're just doing more mass bulking mass excavation with the smaller machines, like your 13-ton, that's the ultimate fine grading machine. I mean, you got a till rotator on it and everything, but I think with tilt rotators, it's funny because you can kind of personalize. What's interesting about our setups is you'd be like, okay, well, instead of spinning this way, I'm going to spin that way. Or when I press this button, I want it to move this way or I can move that. It's you can personalize the tilt rotators to your operator. And especially with the new technology and the machines, I'm sure Hitachi has it as well, too. I know Komatsu does, but you can kind of, okay, I want to speed up this part, and I want to slow down when I come down. I want to speed up my swing. The machines are really coming a long way, and the machines are really giving us the tools to succeed really.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, definitely. They definitely are. Like I say, I feel like I wouldn't be getting the attraction I am now if it wasn't for all these new innovations and stuff like that. And that's something I really want to be part of. I'm working alongside a company at the minute, Concrete in England, and that's what they're about, really, of being a step ahead when it comes to stuff like this for attachments and stuff. And I'm really excited to work alongside them and showcase what they have and showcase all these new things that will be coming onto the market.
Taylor White: Well, I guess so then we'll be able if everyone kind of goes over and follows you on diggerbry, they'll be able to go over and see all that stuff coming.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Taylor White: So whereabouts should people go to see you? Where do you want people to go?
Liam Bryan: Well, yeah, I'll be showcasing it all on my platform at diggerbry. So, yeah, I'm going to have another opportunity to showcase some more stuff that is not on the internet, really. There are things that, like you say, I'm thinking outside the box again, and I'm getting equipment to also help me do that. So, yeah, I'm really excited to get underway with all this nice.
Taylor White: And hopefully we'll see you at the 2026 ConExpo, right?
Liam Bryan: Well, hopefully, yeah, that would be my dream. Definitely. I would love to come over there.
Taylor White: We'd hopefully see you there. We will see you there. You got to manifest what you want in life so it becomes, what's that word? Fruition or fruition, anyway, so I'm too dumb for that, but you got to manifest it.
Liam Bryan: Yeah, I'm definitely going to be there. One way or another, I'm going to be there.
Taylor White: I like that. Okay. Liam, dude, thanks for coming on the podcast today, man. Obviously, there's another episode sponsored by our beautiful friend over at Kamatsu. We love them. Liam, I appreciate it very much. I can't wait to see what you come up with next online.
Liam Bryan: No, thank you so much for your time. Thank you.