It has been announced that the qualifiers for the 2024 Scottish Plant Operator Challenge (SPOC) will take place during ScotPlant next month.

Operators wishing to take part will be required to undergo a number of live challenges, putting their professional skills to the test. The best operator from each day will win £200 and a 'merch' bag.

The reigning champion from SPOC 23, Gordon Durno (centre), is not allowed to compete this year, although he will be on hand to make sure that the competition is challenging, exciting and enjoyable for all contenders and, we presume, the ScotPlant audience.

The top 60 scoring operators will be contacted, with the top 30 securing their positions alongside those who placed 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in SPOC 23. This group will go on to the final of SPOC 24 later in the summer competing for a share of the £10,500 prize fund. The remaining 30 operators will be placed on a standby list for this year’s final.

The final of the Scottish Plant Operator Challenge will then conclude at the Working Vintage Plant Weekend, taking place on  July 27 at the Errol Airfield in Perthshire - it will be hosted by Morris Leslie (right). The event will also feature a plant and equipment exhibition where a selection of leading manufacturers and local suppliers will showcase their latest equipment.

Speaking about the 2023 event, former SPOA President Callum Mackintosh (left) said: “Last year was the inaugural Scottish Plant Operator Challenge and I was proud to be part of it. Once again, colleagues across the plant industry have stepped up to make this event happen and I’m delighted to join Morris Leslie and James Currie on the organising team for this year.

“We are on a mission to present an even grander spectacle in 2024. Our vision is to create a platform that not only celebrates the prowess of skilled operators but also serves as a dynamic stage to unveil the latest innovations and equipment that define the forefront of the plant industry. It all starts at ScotPlant, so if you think you’ve got what it takes then come along and give it a go!”

Plant operators who make it through the ScotPlant qualifiers in April can look forward to competing in eight timed challenges for great prizes in the final in July:

  • Individual challenge winners: £250 cash prize and exclusive merchandise from challenge sponsors
  • 3rd place overall: £1,000
  • 2nd place overall: £2,500
  • 1st place overall: £5,000 and an array of exclusive rewards from sponsors

Those wishing to enter the qualifier for the Scottish Plant Operator Challenge at ScotPlant are advised to bring proof of competency, which will need to be shown to the organising team on the day. Entry fee for the qualifier is £10, which will be added to the prize fund for the qualifier.

That sounds like a grand plan. Further details about SPOC and other Scottish plant operator news and views at