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Gold Rush exclusive: Rick Ness deals with another dozer disaster in the search for gold

On tonight’s edition of Gold Rush, we get a lesson in keeping an engine running as Rick Ness, the newest miner on the top-rated Discovery series, has a problem and it involves a dirty air filter putting the brakes on one of his dozers.

We open with his crewman Ben Hudack manning the dozer who explains to us from his cab that they need to keep ahead of the wash plant and get as much paydirt as they can. But he seems frustrated as the machine is sounding not quite right and petering out which spurs him to radio the boss for some immediate help.

Ben senses something is up with his dozer. Pic credit: Discovery
Ben senses something is up with his dozer. Pic credit: Discovery

Ben says, “We got to stay ahead of the wash plant make sure that we’ve got enough paydirt.”

But the machine sounds like it is about to crap out on him. He adds, “I don’t know what’s wrong with this machine…just losing power. The tracks are just spinning.”

He radios Rick Ness to report the new development. Ness worked for Parker Schnabel in seasons prior and now has struck out on his own.

Rick takes in the bad news and calls on dad to the rescue. Pic credit: Discovery
Rick takes in the bad news and calls on dad to the rescue. Pic credit: Discovery

Rick hears his request and looks like he is bracing for the worst news, the season has been one expensive learning curve after the other. He says, “Yeah I got you, Ben, what’s up?”

Ben says, “I am over here in the dozer right now over and I don’t know what’s wrong with it…”

Looking like he got hit in the gut, he says, “F**k me are you serious? I’ll see if I get ahold of my dad and have him take a look at it.”

Luckily, Rick Ness’s dad big Rick is a pro who has his own construction business and knows his way around a diesel engine, especially a big machine like the dozer ben is operating.

Papa Ness figures it all out, a dirty air filter. Pic credit: Discovery
Papa Ness figures it all out, a dirty air filter. Pic credit: Discovery

Using his know-how, big Rick has repaired many a dozer in his own fleet of dirt movers and excavators. Ness senior takes us inside the engine of this stalled dozer and lays it out for novices on how a diesel engine works.

He says, “Just looking at the injector pump and all the injector lines… I don’t see any obvious like fuel leaks or anything. I don’t smell any fuel. I’m going to pop this off of here and look at the air cleaner.”

When he does this, a cloud of smoke puffs out and reveals the issue.

He adds, while coughing from the dirt, “Yeah, that is not a good sign right there. You see that kind of dirt coming out of there? We got a pretty plugged up filter… oh yeah it’s dirty.”

Smoke residue and thick black dirt poof into the air when he moves it around acting like a dirt cloud, and he begins to bang it out a bit and suction the particulate from the folds.

Discovery’s producers use an animated drawing how a diesel engine works.

The diesel engine draws air through the filter and into the cylinder where the returning piston pressurizes the air creating heat and when fuel is introduced, it creates an explosion that drives the piston which then turns the crankshaft.

But, if that same filter clogs up with dirt, the loss of air will result in a loss of power and that means the engine is at a standstill, and Rick Ness juniors big to get gold is held up, so time is money but having his dad on hand to save the day, priceless.

Tune in tonight to see how Ness senior and junior fare as the season winds down.

Gold Rush airs Fridays at 9/8c on Discovery


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