When Santa left a radio-controlled toy truck under 6-year-old Aaron Bidochka’s Christmas tree, it’s doubtful he anticipated it becoming the start of Bidochka’s ultimate passion and eventual career. Fast forward a few decades, and Aaron spends his work week filming videos of every remote-control (RC) technology imaginable to publish on RC Sparks Studio, his YouTube channel with more than 1.75 million subscribers and one billion video views.
Recently, Bidochka purchased his largest RC machine yet—a Cat® 242D Skid Steer Loader equipped with a TORC Robotics RemoteTask™ RC system. He had plans well beyond RC Sparks YouTube videos with this purchase. Aaron actually began researching remote-controlled skid steer loader options shortly after a serious back injury inhibited his ability to operate a previously-owned loader from inside the cab.
Not being able to operate a loader was not an option for Aaron, as he lives on and maintains a 4.5-acre property, 30 minutes outside of Calgary, Alberta. This is not your average ranch—it boasts an impressive RC racing venue, with a 1,000 foot long, 15 foot wide dirt track that requires regular shaping and leveling.
“After my injury, only a few minutes of operating my loader over bumpy terrain could result in a pinched nerve,” explained Bidochka. “In order to maintain my residence and livelihood, finding an alternative option was critical. Fortunately, as an RC enthusiast, I knew some machine manufacturers were beginning to offer remote-controlled operating systems. That’s when I found out about Caterpillar’s RemoteTask system, and I reached out to Finning Canada to see if I could demo one.”
Turns out, the Cat 242D with RemoteTask was the right solution for Bidochka, as it has helped fully restore his ability to maintain his property and race track. Since owning it, he has also discovered some unanticipated benefits to RC machine operation—particularly related to visibility.
“By operating the loader from outside the cab, I’ve been very impressed with the visibility,” said Bidochka. “I can see all four tires at all times, and I don’t have to worry about injuring anyone or damaging property.”
He is also impressed with the minimal learning curve on the RemoteTask system. The controls are specifically designed to mimic the set-up within the machine cab and deliver the same response. Additionally, the settings and machine speed can be customized to fit the operator’s comfort and experience level.
Machine serviceability is another stand-out feature for Bidochka. A true “do-it-yourselfer,” he recently took on the task of replacing the robotics module under the cab of the machine. Filming the whole process, he published the video to his RC Sparks channel to demonstrate how easy it was to perform this maintenance. The machine was back up and running in no time. Finning has also been an important resource for everything from parts support to maintenance for his machine.
And let’s face it … the 242D is an RC fanatic’s dream come true! Upon purchasing the machine, Aaron knew he had to share this new technology with his YouTube subscribers. He has since produced and published several videos featuring the machine in action on his ranch. More than eight million views later, it’s safe to say his audience shares the same excitement.