Blue Fuchs MD Terry Hughes, takes up the story: “We had an enquiry from the Top Gear team to supply a material handler which would be used in an episode of the series. Every week they feature machinery or equipment outside of their usual focus on cars and they were keen to assess one of our machines in action to see what it could do. After an initial discussion, the BBC team came down to Fuchs to make a selection and watch a demonstration of the MHL360 at our HQ in Portishead, Bristol we were then invited to Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey where the programme was being filmed.”
With a 6.00am start the Fuchs MHL360, duly fitted with a 5-tyne grab, was delivered to the film location for preparation; followed by the presenters who arrived at 9.00am. Before filming started Pat James from Fuchs had the task of providing 45 minutes of training for the chief presenter, Matt Le Blanc.
James recalled: “It was obvious from the start that [Matt Le Blanc] had some experience as he picked it up very quickly and showed he was a very good operator. Evidently Matt has a big passion for heavy machinery and it was clear throughout the filming.”
With training complete and a confident Le Blanc in the driver’s seat it became clear that the plan was to initiate a game of bowling with the Fuchs machine throwing scrap fridges, scrap washing machines and even scrap cars at the target – a line of sheds.
With the film crew in place and the drone in the air, filming began and it wasn’t long before Le Blanc was launching objects in the air with amazing results.
Hughes said: “Matt had complete control over the machine as time and time again he successfully grabbed the ‘missiles’ and hit the target with devastating results. The Fuchs machine certainly played its part and demonstrated its versatility and effectiveness in what was a very entertaining game.”
Following the filming this feature was shown in the Top Gear programme on Easter Sunday and is expected to be broadcast in 212 countries.