DIGGER driver Mark Bradley is taking a different kind of bucket to the beach in Malaga next week.

The 28-year-old from Peebles has qualified for the Caterpillar Operators European Championships.

For three days he will rev-up against 50 of the best construction site drivers from around the continent at the Spanish resort.

Each driver will be tested over a series of skill challenges against the clock.

Mark, who works for Ewan Irvine Plant, beat off strong groundworks competition in Glasgow last month to win the Scottish qualifying heat.

And he is confident he’ll be able to better the 11th place finish he achieved four years ago at the European Championships when they were held in Leicester.

Mark told us: “There were over 40 operators when I finished 11th in Leicester and I’d like to think I’ll be able to beat that.

“In previous competitions we’ve been required to lift golf balls from tees and other really difficult challenges, but you also get scored on safety and productivity as well - there's a lot to think about.

“It can be really difficult but I do have good eyesight which helps me with the precision side of things.”

Since leaving school Mark has been behind the wheel for local construction companies.

And if he’s needing any last-minute tips ahead of the finals, he only has to look as far as his current boss, Ewan Irvine.

Ewan has twice qualified for the European Championships himself – in 2000 and 2004.

He told us: “I’m confident Mark will do well.

“It is quite an achievement just to reach the finals as there are a lot of good drivers out there.”

Mark will fly out to Malaga on Monday.

And the following morning he, along with the other finalists, will be given a video presentation of the challenges which lie ahead over the next three days.

The winner of the Caterpillar Operators European Championships will be announced at a dinner on the Thursday evening once the scores have been added.