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Gold Rush: Is It OK For The Machines To Run At Max Speed All The Time?

On "Gold Rush," it's a major point of contention when a piece of machinery breaks down. Every team has limited time to find as much gold as possible wherever they're digging, so being out of commission, even for a few hours, can make or break the profits. It begs the question if these teams would be better off taking it slow so they don't have to deal with repairs as much. 

That's the thinking Redditor u/mvsopen has, "On all the Goldrush shows, they always end up cranking up the shaker deck and the water pumps as fast as they can go 'to get more dirt through the plant'. Is this a sound business practice? Faster production means more dirt passing through the plant, but it also means far more wear and tear on the mechanical parts." It's sound advice, and it makes sense how miners can only push their gear so far. 

It sounds like some people with professional mining experience got into the Reddit thread, with u/robfrod offering their take, "At real mines we are usually running near full beans pushing tonnage but we also have full time mechanics, people in charge of tracking and stocking every spare part and peoples who's job is just to schedule and plan for shut downs where as much maintenance can be done in a short time as possible." More than likely, the main reason why everything is full power all the time on "Gold Rush" and its spinoffs is that's what makes exciting television. 

Gold Rush crews likely do maintenance, but that's not interesting to show

Parker Schnabel, Tony Beets, and the rest of the main cast of "Gold Rush" have been in this business for a long time. They surely know what needs to happen as far as machinery to keep it up and running for as long as possible. As such, many fans of the show on Reddit speculate they service the machines occasionally, but there's nothing cinematic about preventative maintenance. Reality shows like "Gold Rush" may have certain moments scripted, and cutting out the boring parts is also integral to holding viewers' interest.

Redditors familiar with this equipment and practice believe any of the "Gold Rush" crews would service their machines, but it's far more dramatic to have them go full blast for a little bit to increase tension. For instance, Redditor u/Trashy97 posits, "I would find it hard to believe that the big 2 operations (Beets and Schnabel) would be any different. All operations have down time while doing clean outs, in between shifts and before/after shifts, if they are not running 24/7." They go on to state how it could be good to show that downtime so that viewers understand more of what goes into a major mining operation. But there are only so many minutes in an episode, and it's more enticing to show arguments and machine breakdowns. 

Regardless, it's all a matter of having the right people around who can fix any broken machinery. In an interview with Entrepreneur, Parker Schnabel explained, "The biggest asset any business has is the people who work there. When a bulldozer breaks down, you don't go with it start beating it with a sledgehammer." Schnabel's been doing this for a long time, so it's safe to say he knows what he's doing.