Scott Colclough wanted to show the world the equipment he loves to operate. And by shining a light into his world of construction, he built Pushysix, a Canadian-based brand that has grown to deliver heavy equipment images and videos around the world.
Colclough, an operator based in Calgary at the time, started out by filming his heavy equipment work on a Blackberry and posting the footage to YouTube.
“I would just put it in the dirt and work with my machine,” he said. “The whole idea behind it is that I love equipment and I love what I do. I just wanted to show other people that. I love machines, so other people must like to watch machines work like I do.”
After posting a few videos from his Blackberry, Colclough decided to elevate his idea of documenting the machines he loves.
In 2013, drawing inspiration from the Caterpillar D6T dozer, the Pushysix brand was born.
“I wanted to do it right. So, I needed a name and a logo,” he said.
To build the social media-based brand, Colclough was able to draw upon his experience as an equipment operator, as well as growing up with a father that worked as a professional photographer.
“I grew up in a darkroom and doing different stuff like that with him,” Colclough said. “And in the small town in Saskatchewan that I’m from, we were the first with the Internet back in the early 90s. I kind of grew up around all of that stuff. For me, I took that and merged it with equipment.”
Now, Pushysix has grown into a brand with a registered trademark.
His YouTube channel’s content draws in hundreds of thousands of views and Pushysix on Instagram has surpassed 100,000 followers.
“I don’t really know why operators use Instagram so much. If I had to guess, I’d say other operators want to show people what they do for work. What we do is really, really cool,” Colclough said. “If a guy wants to show off his jobsite or brand-new machine, that’s the place to do it.”
As well, Colclough’s social media influence has translated into a Pushysix clothing line, and partnerships with equipment manufacturers, like Topcon and Engcon.
“I’m picky on who I work with or deal with. They have to meet a certain level of greatness,” he said.
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The brand has also grown to include three team members, and Colclough is now transitioning to make Pushysix his full-time job.
“It’s becoming so big now, I can’t do everything,” he said. “But I’m still in charge of the mission and the content.”
Currently, Colclough is a site supervisor for Kidco Construction, a title he’s held for about six years following 14 years as an equipment operator.
“My heart is inside of a machine and it always will be. That’s my passion,” he said.
“I still operate and I’m in charge of operators.”
Colclough’s experience as an operator and a supervisor has allowed the Pushysix social channels to broach issues that many people don’t want to publicly address.
“I try to represent operators. I still am one. I try to give operators a voice, which they don’t have,” he said. “I like to bring up topics that people don’t like to talk about. If I don’t bring them up nobody will talk about it.”
One issue Colclough believes is problematic is favouritism on the jobsite. He says some supervisors may opt to provide work to operators based on relationships rather than skill.
“There’s unfair treatment that happens in the industry” he said. “In the future, hopefully foremen will act differently to their operators and not forget where they came from.”
Colclough added when he took on the role of site supervisor, he made sure he didn’t forget what it’s like to work as an operator.
“My career has excelled because I understand all of that. And it’s reflected in the site morale,” he said.
Colclough is using his social media prowess to tackle the goal of inspiring the next generation of operators.
“It’s a dying breed. No one wants to do this work anymore. Out of all the different job, construction is the most demanding. You need the most work ethic,” he said.
“We need to make it look like a great place to work to try to make it fun compared to how it used to be. There are a lot of places all over the country that have no operators.”
New technology and a focus on operator comfort is helping to draw in a new generation of operations, according to Colclough.
“Back in the day, in an old school excavator or dozer or whatever, it was not fun to run,” Colclough said. “Now, the machines are built for the operator’s comfort, and with all this new cool tech, it’s more fun to operate.”
He added new technology is a point of contention amongst operators, as the older generation believes new machine features translates to less skill.
“That’s been a big battle online. These older guys have to get with the times or one day they won’t have a job. The new machines are so much more productive. That’s what owners want. They will hire a guy that can run a machine that’s equipped with precision GPS over a guy that can’t.”
The next step
Colclough is switching up how he posts to Instagram. Now, he’s merging photos of the jobsite with explanations of the process pictured.
“I’m trying to pass down knowledge and info. I like to stand for a purpose. If you just post a nice picture and get a million likes, that doesn’t mean anything,” Colclough said. “If you post a good picture with info and you’re teaching people and they’re learning something, that’s worth more to me.”
The Pushysix brand is also evolving. Colclough is expanding his clothing line, an operator-specific work boot is in development as well as several construction-related mobile apps.
As well, a Pushysix heavy equipment school is also in the works. Within the next two years, Colclough plans to either buy an existing equipment school or build his own.
“There’s a lot more to a machine than knowing how to run the controls,” he said. “My school is going to mean something.”