I recently read a statistic which illustrated that despite the fact their role on the team doesn’t involve any combat, being a pilot for the Blue Angels is exponentially more dangerous than being a standard Navy pilot. Now I’m not saying that synchronized tractor dancing is an extremely dangerous pursuit, but it’s worth noting that if the Blue Angels serve as any kind of metric, this is probably a hell of a lot harder than it looks.
The video above is from the 2011 Elvaston Castle Steam Rally in Wales by J.C. Balls & Sons, a Midlands-based earth moving and excavation company. The collaboration involves five veteran tractor drivers whose work together dates all the way back to 2004 and the routine showcases the impressive maneuverability of the JCB diggers.
At one point the group lines up to perform an in-line rotation around the field, a tricky move in part because the outside tractor travels a far greater distance at a wider angle than that of the one on the inner most part of the line, meaning each tractor has to travel at a different speed to maintain parity with the one(s) next to them.
From a visual standpoint, perhaps the most impressive move is when the four of the tractors line up end to end and each is raised off the ground by its own hydraulics, making a tunnel which the fifth tractor casually cruises through. Check it out for yourself in the clip above.