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Gold Rush exclusive: It’s all fun and games until the excavator breaks, creating Rick Ness’s nightmare

This is Gold Rush star Rick Ness before the track cracked in half. Then the sads and f-bombs set in. Pic credit: Discovery.
This is Gold Rush star Rick Ness before the track cracked in half. Then the f-bombs set in. Pic credit: Discovery

It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and tonight on Discovery’s Gold Rush, Rick Ness is wearing Milk-Bone underwear.

It started off as a beautiful, sunny, mirth-filled kind of day with coworkers ribbing each other over their lack of higher education. On Discovery’s Gold Rush, airing tonight, see how fast a good day can go south.

Calamity struck in the middle of a robust discussion via walkie talkies. It had been veritable blue-collar roast about Zee’s lack of geology knowledge, Ryan’s extolled merits of a degree in beerology, and everyone’s snorting over the fact that none of them know much biology, history, or even… wait for it… geology, despite the fact that they are immersed in it for a living.

But they do know how to work hard, dig the dirt, sift the soil, and find dat gold.

The problem came out of left field. Rick Ness’s sole excavator, named the 480 suddenly has a work-stopping malfunction. The track on one side of the vehicle split in half and metal fatigue caused the main hitching pin to break.

It’s not an easy fix, nor is it an inexpensive one to remedy. And it will impede Ness’s work schedule and the trajectory of pulling gold from the stake in the Klondike. We know that Rick Ness has high hopes for the season to try and best his inaugural foray into boss-hood from last year when he mined more than a million dollars worth of gold.

Now, Ness has moved his operation to the mountains above the mining town of Keno City, in the Yukon, where pals Zee, Ryan, and Chris are helping him make his goals.

Remember that Brian “Zee” Zaremba had a life-threatening blood clot last season and Ness almost lost his close pal and coworker.

But the good news is that Zee seems to be in great shape now and he is in the exclusive clip. Zee is seen operating a dozer and working out in the field, as he receives a message from Chris Kruse, who radios him and jokingly asks: “Oh. Hey. Zee? Did you take geology in high school?”

He’s game for the exchange, smiling and he says: “I wouldn’t say college, but… I don’t know that most of us probably went to college.”

Ryan says: “I’ll have you know that I am college-educated…”

You can hear Zee laughing as Ness says: “Nice!”  While Kruse says: “Awkward!” Ryan then throws the punch: “I got a master’s degree in beerology hehehe…” Cue the peels of laughter from the guys in their respective rigs.

Back to Rick who says: “That’s exactly what I was thinking, right?” He later says, “Got to be pretty happy about what’s going on right now I mean we just got to keep on trucking and I think we’ll be all right.”

Ness spoke too soon.

In an instant, the machine shudders to a halt and we hear metal cracking and breaking.

Ness radios for assistance. He says: “Hey guys, uh I’m just outside of the cut there and I am going to need some help.  This f****** track split right in f****** half.”

The narrator explains that one of the links on the track has snapped. The 480 is out of action until it can be repaired.

Ness is at his wit’s end. He says: “That’s the only f****** machine we have to load pay… we really f****** did it this time, man.”

Tune in to see if Rick can move quickly to get the repair he needs to continue his mining in the Klondike.

Gold Rush airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on Discovery.

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