Canadian Digs Out Basement Using Only Radio Controlled Scale Tractors and Trucks...Since 2005!


Excavating a basement using professional machinery is nothing new but doing it with radio controlled (RC) scaled models is something unheard of. Welcome to the little big world of Joe, from Saskatchewan, Canada.

For the past 7 years (!), Joe has been digging out his basement at an average annual rate of 8 to 9 cubic feet using nothing more than RC tractors and trucks!

And we're talking about the whole nine yards here - he starts by transporting the excavator on an RC truck to the basement, unloads it, digs and uses other trucks to transfer the dirt up to the ground through a spiral ramp! He even has a miniature rock crusher!

"I feel quite fortunate to have stumbled onto this basement excavation idea, it's been a great past time to date dreaming up new ideas to tackle different projects along the way," Joe wrote on the Scale4x4rc forums where he also posted pictures and videos of his feat.

"It's been a great hobby thus far, dreaming up - building all sorts of different minature equipment from kits or from scratch for this "mining" project. If it wasn't for this mining project I probably would have lost of interest in this hobby by now b/c once the models are built - the novelty of how they work & perform would wear off with no task to be accomplished them," he notes in another post.

Take a look at the pictures Joe posted on the forum as well as a sample of the videos he's recorded over the years after the break, and then head over to the comments area for your thoughts.

*Corrections: A previous version of this article said Joe had been working on the project since 1997. Joe came in contact with Carscoop and told us that he was practicing the hobby of radio controlled models since 1996, but began the basement project in June of 2005

Update! If you want to know more about Joe and how this hobby came to be, click here to read his story

Story References: Scale4x4rc via Houston-Imports





Steve said... »February 10, 2012

the man got too much time on his hand. what a loser.

8LiterHemiV8 said... »February 10, 2012


8LiterHemiV8 said... »February 10, 2012

Why are you talking about yourself? This is an epic way to pass time.

Maximum Romulus Romanicus said... »February 10, 2012

Seriouly?!!!?!?! What is his plan?? What a waste of life.

Davesturge said... »February 10, 2012

This is so awesome. Instead of a typical train set in the basement like a lot of guys have, he has a construction set. This so reminds me of playing with my old Tonkas in the gravel pit behind my house when I was a kid. Awesome. Amazed the loaders and excavators can exert that much force to be able to dig into the bank of clay.

Blarg! said... »February 10, 2012

This isn't a waste of time. At the very least, this is a constructive activity in that he is excavating his basement.

Watching UFC is a fantastic waste of time.

Hugh Jorgan said... »February 10, 2012

He has time on his hands and you have your dick in yours. You're the one wasting life.

Hugh Jorgan said... »February 10, 2012

He plays in his basement, you play on the computer... explain why he is the loser.

auto said... »February 10, 2012

there is only one loser here mate, and it's not this guy.

Brian said... »February 10, 2012

What this guy has done is created a scale mine operation in his basement! It would be even cooler if if he uses mini explosives fire crackers to blast some harder rock into little bits and haul it away.  

JV said... »February 10, 2012

Awesome! he must be a very happy guy lol, and yeah the idea of little explosives is very very good.

Waste of time? getting fat watching TV is, this thing isn´t.

Sergio said... »February 10, 2012

The coolest guy ever!!! said... »February 11, 2012

I bet his mom is mad!  Ruining her basement like that.

ScorpioGTX1 said... »February 11, 2012

Well since he's been at it for 15 years, I would hazard a guess and say that he enjoys it. I don't see how that's a waste of life.

mnb said... »February 11, 2012

he'll be done by 20getagf

Derrick said... »February 11, 2012

Wow. Its a great idea to put your toy creations to work. Different people have different interests and ways...let them be.

Jiron Mohamad said... »February 11, 2012

Now, no one can say he needs a hobby.

moses said... »February 12, 2012

Fn amazing!! After 15 years you got that far with only remote controlled scale tractors and trucks? Damn thats awesome. If he uses fire crackers to blast harder rock then im gonna find him and give him a high five in person.

Eric said... »February 12, 2012

You have one of the coolest, most original hobbies I have ever seen!

To everyone telling him to get a life: he'll be having the last laugh when he strikes oil! Haha!

Pete said... »February 13, 2012

Gotta love the nerds. Whoever labels him as a "loser" never felt true passion for anything by himself. You shouldn't say "loser", you should envy him.

Jonathan Plumb said... »February 13, 2012

WOW…. To stick with it that long. I am impressed.

Ben said... »February 14, 2012

I wonder how his wife fells abou..... oh, right.

Lil Giants said... »February 14, 2012

I have been in this rc heavy commercial hobby about 15yrs, but only been digging this basement bigger about the last 6yrs. I could've been done long before now, even with just these rc's, but then what? This is the perfect all weather playground. I'm a cattle/grain farmer with alot of dead time during the winter to build these rc models & work 'em in my basement. I live in a rather remote area of Sask and don't have access to the everyday big city distractions that most of you take for granted... so this is what I do with my free time.

I can't imagine why anybody would call me loser for enjoying a past time like this... that in itself is pretty sad & perhaps you should take a look at your own life to figure out why you're so miserable?

Noneofyour said... »February 14, 2012

I love this guy! What a way to do a miserable job.

doxy said... »February 14, 2012

if you think hes a loser then you dont think outside the box! what if he were wheelchair bound? the fact is he dug out a basement with RC equipment and if you called him a loser well than most likely you live in your mothers basement!

Hugh Jorgan said... »February 14, 2012


Countrysk8 said... »February 14, 2012

only looser here is you, you troll.

WildRumpus67 said... »February 14, 2012

 EPIC WIN!  fu@# the trolls.  This is way, way cooler than a train set!

Patter Light Grey said... »February 14, 2012

straight up wicked fun.
really a fantastic way to learn and teach.


pete rip said... »February 14, 2012

someone should show this guy Arduino controllers...some of these things could be automated, or atleast assisted (multiple trucks going at once).

also hoping he'll build a drag-line : )

Jenny said... »February 14, 2012

I am simply amazed and delighted by this! This fellow must have the most incredible patience to execute such a feat so slowly and meticulously. The scale models are magical enough, but the fact that he can work them so expertly and to such practical advantage is awe inspiring. My husband and I can't stop grinning; this story absolutely made our day. We've sent this link to various mechanically-minded family members who we know will enjoy this just as much as we did. Good on you, sir!! I hope we eventually get to witness the end result.

Jeff said... »February 15, 2012

 well actually there's two losers here.. Steve and the guy who can't spell loser.

Carlos Sánchez said... »February 15, 2012

Do you made something different in your life? Or the same as others. Great Job Joe!!!

Mike said... »February 16, 2012

So, this is apparently worse than spending hours on Facebook playing virtual games?  :-)

Pretty cool, Joe - lots of effort to create those RC models, my hat's off to you.

Grumpygrady said... »February 16, 2012

if you like this check out the forum
this and many more are here
and for the ones talking about what a waste ,if you would check out these TOYS lol you would see that
a exavator costs a little under $5000 US dollars  and are handbuilt
this is just now becoming popular in the states but in germany it has a large following and they have fairs that are complete city's running all remote control
enjoy and come join in ,we need more people to join the hoppy

noc007 said... »February 16, 2012

Ignore the trolls. They spend their time their mom's basement dicking around on the internet. Building RC trucks is fun. Playing with RC trucks is fun. Making RC trucks that actually do what their full scale counterparts do is amazing. Doing the actual work in scale totally rocks.

jon doe said... »February 17, 2012

Please don't get discouraged by these nasty people, there are many who think what you are doing is fantastic!

Thomas said... »February 17, 2012

Your innocent spirit is refreshing.  Jesus loves you and God bless you. 

Mike Wise said... »February 17, 2012

We could use this guy's techniques to build us something useful on the moon. A shelter that astronauts could hang out in for example.

Amit Rele said... »February 17, 2012

Wait, did he remember to get a permit from the city for this extension to the house?  :)

Dinesh Vishwanathan said... »February 17, 2012

Ignore the retards. This is wonderful stuff!

Not said... »February 17, 2012

Whoa - that is freakin awesome.... Do they make RC tunnel drillers? 

Jonas Blevslagensombarnsson said... »February 17, 2012

 Did you consider using small exlosives in grids, just like the do in real life? It's for sure the missing part of this puzzel, as many suggested. Keep going, the people calling you a loser are sad souls who's only releave in life is to wear the same kind of jeans as seen on MTV and boost about achivements they never made.

bill said... »February 17, 2012

Good Job.

Sandburr said... »February 17, 2012

Dude, you are totally awesome! What a great way to enjoy your hobby. I have done the R/C car racing thing for many years and have enjoyed every minute of it and the time that I spent with my son doing it. Pay no attention to the trols and haters, do what you love and enjoy.

PhantomAct said... »February 17, 2012

What a dumbasss!

SpliFF said... »February 17, 2012

Even my girlfriend loves this. Reminds her of Thunderbirds!

James Bos said... »February 17, 2012

What a guru! Comparative to what most of us do to pass time, this is EPIC! You're an inspiration good sir, you've inspired me to try make more time for hobbies! :)

Madrigorne said... »February 17, 2012

 I think this is awesome... just awesome.  Now if I could program this sequence into my computer I could have lil bots excavating the basement of my dream home themselves.  You make me very very happy.

Don Mueller said... »February 17, 2012

I want to play too!

Tim Robbins said... »February 17, 2012

shawshank redemption 2 - the basement edition. 

Paulrich said... »February 17, 2012

He making the news everywhere now try that for yourself without killing or hurting someone :-) myabe with all his experience Nasa could ask him to help on the mars mission you never know sure will not me you they be asking. lol

Jepsojoo said... »February 17, 2012

Someone should make that add-on box with sensors, and donate that to the guy. --> autonomous mine!

holy_crap_this_is_boring said... »February 17, 2012

They should make a sequel to that move, The Phoenix. The one where a plane crashed and one guy was an RC plane engineer and helped them build a  new plane and they rescued themselves.

My plan for a sequel is a remote mining company has a cave-in and through some strange coincidence this guy from the article is there. All their equipment is destroyed. But this guy makes tons of little RC versions and they dig themselves out.

Write me, movie studios! If you steal my idea prepare to hear from my lawyer!

Guest said... »February 17, 2012

Thats just a Hobie, nice. Man needs a hobie, let him be!

Matt said... »February 17, 2012

That is freaking AWESOME!!! I wonder if he is hiring operators. LOL

Frost said... »February 17, 2012

He is a farmer with a lot of down time in the winter and this is how he passes his time. This is his hobby, what's your hobby being an internet troll? His life is dedicated to providing food for his fellow man, what are you doing with your life?

tstportal said... »February 17, 2012

You're an asshole Steve.

BerserX said... »February 17, 2012

phew.. never though about automation..? having to control them must be a pain. Setup a wifi triangulation system, have them dig according to a topographical map and follow paths etc. A simple routine could have them complete that job in a few months.

How did they handle boulders?

Veeren said... »February 17, 2012

One word Amazing.... like the dedication and the creativity... 
i remembered i used to build clay forts during Diwali (indian festival) in my native place in india... we used to do the whole 9 yards.... create small replicas... create water sources ... fountains... grasslands... plant small plants (thinking them as small trees) etc etc.... was so much fun..... said... »February 17, 2012

 I want to spend the day at your house.

Recharged95E said... »February 17, 2012

I'd be interested in what broken down? what needed replacement? The videos suggest not much and it a testament on the robustness of these R/C devices.

Alphamonk said... »February 17, 2012

I can think of a lot worst things this can do with his time so good for him.

Anonymous said... »February 18, 2012

I love it and wish I had his motivation, free time, and otherwise (wow the cost must be excessive and hopefully he has CAT as sponsors). Either way, how else would you empty a basement with house overhead? Cool! Sorli...

Tomas2004n said... »February 18, 2012

this guy has way to much time on his hand but you have to admit it is cool and inventive.

Skipdallas1 said... »February 18, 2012

I am BLOWN AWAY! This is so cool! The fact that he is doing all this in the basement is a stroke of genius! Year round access to his hobby and work area. I wish I could afford to do something similar, but I imagine this is an expensive hobby, and I live on a meager budget. A word to the nay-sayers: So what if he has time on his hands? Not everyone lives according to your schedule.

Skipdallas1 said... »February 18, 2012

There is a project for you!! But it would just drill itself out of sight very quickly! :-)

Homer said... »February 18, 2012

Well, to each his own.   If it makes you happy, then God love you.

Personally, this hobby would drive bonkers in about 20 minutes.

Anonymous said... »February 18, 2012

I wanna see this in person I live in Saskatchewan I think this is awesome keep it up Joe!

Bob said... »February 19, 2012

I had a dozer, loader and dump truck like this as a kid, and loved them.  Mine were cheap plastic didn't last long, but I'm sure I moved 500lbs of earth and went through 50 'D' batteries with those before they kicked the bucket.  I may have to pick this hobby back up.

spencer said... »February 20, 2012

Come on, such technology is always used here in Sweden, i have been seeing it for the last two years!!

Its great its used there too!

spencer said... »February 20, 2012

I have seen this technology here in Sweden for the last two years!  am glad its used there as well!

Winnie Qin said... »February 21, 2012

 Once again great post. You seem to have a good understanding of these themes.When I entering your blog,I felt this . Come on and keep writting your blog will be more attractive. To Your Success!

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Audi A4 engine said... »February 25, 2012

 Nice video gallery, it is awesome to know these procedures.

Tasos said... »February 25, 2012

May God bless poor Joe. He is so badly in need of a life.

Lil Giants said... »February 26, 2012

I've broke a few driveshafts on the trks.. had it happen to the green King Hauler with the lettering on the box, it was near the top of the 1st ramp from ground level, took off backwards, I nearly made it to the bottom before striking the wall... broke alot of shyt! Upside, alot of it being plastic, I glued it back together & only had to rebuild/remake a few miscellaneous parts. That happened long before making movies, so was not caught on filmed.

I've worn out a couple of the smaller track hoes - boom/stick wobbly, cyls leaking oil badly! Dozer on the bench right now (10yrs old) - track frames are worn out, I'm needing some new parts.

The GL dump trk, my main dirt hauler out of the basement, it's also on the workbench, got a problem with one of the rear axles, something is clicking/skipping, could be a broken tooth on the crown or pinion, or a problem within the differential itself.

The equipment does stand up to alot of punishment, but it does wear out or break eventually and will need repairs or replacement. More than half of the equipment & trks are 8 to 12yrs old.

William Haddad said... »February 28, 2012

puta paciência dos infernos....... 

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Denny said... »March 01, 2012

P on the trolls...This is so great !!! I am really impressed on all this. I can't think of a better thing to do when you are in a remote area like you are. Keep it up. It's fun for us all to watch the work also. Very cool !!!

Ugly said... »March 02, 2012

Maybe because in Canada prices are soooooo expensive (really! for those who have never been to Canada) he cannot afford to use the full-sized real ones..??  :)

Guest said... »March 02, 2012

he ain't a loser

Gabriel Pinotti said... »March 03, 2012

Nossa muito legal! Veja aqui qual celular combina com você e tem sua cara!

CJ-BH said... »March 03, 2012

This work is going faster than the buildings of the World Cup in Brazil!

Scotty said... »March 07, 2012

where do you buy the kits from?

Gina Stanciu said... »April 12, 2012

Jucariile baietilor 

Marc said... »June 07, 2012

My wife's grand-father was a Sask farmer too, but he used to knit afghans and did wood carving in winter.

Darrenspillane said... »June 11, 2012

i think he should make a copy off convoy useing his trucks very cool

Lil Giants said... »June 13, 2012

I did pro harvest from Texas to northern Saskatchewan for eight summers during my twenties, seen a lot country, a lot of different walks of life and made many great friends that I keep in touch with today.. that'd be one of my most cherrished memmories  of my life.

This particular hobby has put me in touch with ppl all over the world, some of them I'll meet next yr when I go to Germany to attend one of these legendary rc model exhibitions that bring a half million ppl thru the gates for each show.

I'm curious to know what it is you call a life?

Lil Giants said... »June 13, 2012


Vario Earthmovers (the most powerful model track hoe to be bought as a kit)

Fumotec  (front end loaders & dump trks)

Spektrum  (radio gear)

Robot Marketplace  (batteries & other electronic goodies)  (builders forum for this specific hobby)

Asmithpk said... »July 04, 2012

Nice article fully loaded with usefull information and a friendly tone. I will not decide here that who is the loosers. I just came here to appreciate your effort regarding to this post

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car store said... »August 02, 2012

 Great collection of the stuffs, images, nice job.


jon said... »February 06, 2013

YOU MAKE THESE? Because i spent an hour or so trying to find some selling the real deal ones like you have there,,, i cant find any thing close,, not even a site from all those you tube videos of them,,,, Where cant i get them and maybe what kinda cash would they cost? im really impressed

malikileo said... »February 13, 2013

Nice! I really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.

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