Swapping Gigs with Sterling Riggs: Zamboni Driver - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Swapping Gigs with Sterling Riggs: Zamboni Driver

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She's big...She's bad...and yes she's the queen of the rink at Iceland. Step aside for Betsy the Zamboni. Powered by a 1989 VW engine, she is responsible for keeping the ice in tip top shape.

J.D. Hobbs is one of four Zamboni drivers in Louisville and he let me take her for a spin.

J.D. - "So you just put it in reverse."

Sterling Riggs - "OK. We are in reverse. Hang on, here we go."

JD - "Go ahead and use that wheel ball."

SR - "You are going to need to hang on because this could get serious real quick.
Hang on I'm cutting the wheel."

JD - "Let your foot off the gas. So now we are going to put this bad boy in drive, just stay away from the boards."

SR - "Yep, just stay off the boards."

JD - "Just drive around a little bit, get used to her. And it's the reverse of NASCAR so you are always turning right when you are on the ice."

SR - "So I am going the wrong way?"

JD - "Yep!"

Developed in the 40's by Frank Zamboni, the machine is responsible for resurfacing the ice rink with a perfect sheet of ice.

"So if you just stay in-between the lines, you will be alright," J.D. said. "That's where we usually start people out getting used to everything."

After a few quick warm up laps, it was time to drop down the water and lay some tracks.

"Driving a Zamboni is kind of like driving a huge lawn-mover with no breaks," J.D. said.

SR - "Not bad for a Rookie."

JD - "Exactly. Now we just need to get you to control all of the gears on your own."

SR- "That's why when I drive a Zamboni, it's a two man operation."

SR - "Alright, how did I do?"

JD - "Good. Go ahead and put her in neutral."

SR - "And that's how you drive the Zamboni."

JD - "That's all there is to it."

SR - "Do you need some weekend help?"

JD - "Possibly. I need someone to cover the 6 A.M. slot."

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