Reporter Extra

1,100 videos and counting

What Chris Guins calls an “accident” has led to a presence on YouTube that has helped his uncle’s construction firm get a couple of jobs, given him friends who share the same passion for equipment … and generated a lot of interest.

“I bought a digital camera and accidently ended up taking a video, and it’s been an addiction ever since,” says Chris, who works with his uncle Jon Guins in the two-man Guins Excavating Service, located just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina.


He started his YouTube site, letsdig18!, when he was, yes, 18. Now 24, Chris has posted more than 1,100 videos that have gotten more than 20 million upload views. Guins Excavating’s fleet – excavators, compact excavators, a dozer, skid steer, tractor and dump truck – stars in almost all videos, many of them taken from an operator’s point of view. “I mount the camera on a suction cup in the rear window,” Chris says.

His camera skills have allowed him to make new friends – he found one YouTube follower was only 20 miles away – and become a finalist in Volvo Construction Equipment’s Working Iron Challenge video contest, which meant his video was seen during a special presentation at Volvo’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG booth in March.

Although his uncle Jon likes to watch his videos – and his operating skills shine in more than a few of them – he also appreciates that Chris’s YouTube site has actually led to a couple of jobs for Guins Excavating. And, after seeing his videos, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers gave Chris access to their Statesville, North Carolina, auction site.

Over the years Chris has learned to buy water- and shock-resistant cameras, and uploads about two videos a week.

Chris, who describes himself as “born into the business,” says, “I didn’t think that many people would be interested in watching what I do. It’s kind of cool to meet people with the same interests.”

Facebook reigns, but not for business

Chris Guins’ use of social media is still an exception, according to a recent survey of Equipment World readers.* Using the Internet for equipment research is a given (more than 85 percent of respondents use the Internet for this purpose). Social media sites, however, are less so. About 36 percent say they’ve visited these sites, with Facebook the overwhelming favorite. The average age of respondents: 52.9 years

App Untitled 1To view Guins’ finalist video from the Volvo Working Iron Challenge contest – plus get a good view of his excavator production skills – point your smartphone at the square to scan this tag. (Download a free app from and point your phone at the square to scan the tag.)

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