Mucking describes the processes used by miners to remove the blown up rock from the mine. This crushed rock is referred to as muck. Historically muck was hand shoveled into mine cars.
The contest tries to replicate this process by making contestants fill a mine car with either crushed rock or gravel as quickly as possible, using a flat-faced shovel or grain scoop, then dump the car. The mine car, or container is generally of 3/4 to 1 ton capacity. Some contests allow the use of skid plates.
Winning times generally come in under one minute.
The 12B mucker is a rail mounted compressed-air powered shovel. These machines can still be found in use in smaller mining operations. The 12B was used to scoop muck from the working face of the mine and throw it into a mine car located behind it. The contest is designed to replicate this underground activity. Contestants operating the machine try to fill a 2-ton mine car as quickly as possible. Contestants start behind a line approx. 15ft from the machine. Once their time starts they run up to the 12B, turn on their airline and begin scooping muck from a large hopper. Two painted markers located inside the mine car must be buried before the judge calls the time.
The spike drive contest originates from miners installing ground supports, in the form of timbers, inside the mine. Miners had to place “spikes” or large nails to join the timbers together. The tool that was commonly used was a short-handled axe.
The contest tries to replicate this common underground activity. Two timbers are placed. One overhead (approx. 6.5 ft from the ground to the bottom of the timber), and another at knee level, about 6ft apart. The contestant starts behind a line located 15 ft from the overhead timber, runs up to the over-head timber and sinks two, six-inch nails into the underside of the timber. After those nails have been sunk, the contestant runs to the knee-level timber where they sink three, eight-inch nails into its top. Winning times are all under 1 min. Record time is 18.5 seconds set by Randy Mclure.