ORGANISERS have announced that the qualifier for this year’s Scottish Plant Operator Challenge (SPOC) will take place during ScotPlant 2024.

The qualifier will be hosted on the Scottish Plant Owners Association’s (SPOA) stand during the exhibition. The trade body is one of the sponsors of SPOC 24.

Plant operators from across the country wishing to take part will be required to perform a live challenge, putting their professional skills to the test. The best operator from each day at ScotPlant will win £200 and a merch bag.

Reigning champion Gordon Durno, who is ineligible for the competition this year, will be on hand at the qualifier and at the final to set up the challenges, making sure that the competition is challenging, exciting and enjoyable for all contenders. Gordon and the organising team will review the performance of all operators in the qualifier.

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.

Gordon Durno (centre) triumphed last year. Image credit: David Wylie/Earthmovers magazine

The final will take place during the Working Vintage Plant Weekend (27th July, Errol Airfield, Perthshire), hosted by Morris Leslie.

Speaking about this year’s Scottish Plant Operator Challenge, Callum Mackintosh, immediate past president of the SPOA, 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 come through the qualifier in April can look forward to competing in eight timed challenges for 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 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.

More details about the Scottish Plant Operator Challenge 2024 will be revealed over the next few weeks but there are still sponsorship opportunities available. Companies interested in sponsoring the event or its individual challenges are encouraged to contact the organising team at