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Humble Beginnings to Hollywood Gold

The hit television show Gold Rush has done a lot for Dave Turin in the last few years. Gold Rush, which just wrapped up its fifth season on the Discover...

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|Apr 9|magazine9 min read

The hit television show Gold Rush has done a lot for Dave Turin in the last few years. Gold Rush, which just wrapped up its fifth season on the Discovery Channel, has become Friday night’s most watched cable program, racking in nearly 5.5 million viewers. The show has helped Turin become an American sensation. The rapid climb to success, however, didn’t happen overnight.

Behind the scenes

Originating from Sandy, Oregon, Turin’s spent the last 24 years managing a family-owned rock quarry business with his father and three brothers.

After finishing his Civil Engineering degree from Portland State University, Turin joined his father and brothers in the paving business. He credits his father for his entrepreneurial spirit.

“My father was a high-school teacher growing up. To keep us boys out of trouble he started a paving company.  It became pretty successful so he quit teaching,” Turin recalls.

“My Dad is a risk taker and he instilled that in me. I mean, he had six children and he quits his stable job to start a paving company.”

Turin spent the next two decades managing the family-owned rock quarry plant until six years ago when he received a phone call.

“I get a call from Todd and Jack Hoffman to be an outside consultant at their Porcupine Creek claim,” explains Turin. “They needed help with their wash plant and they asked me take a look. That’s how it started.”

Inspired by the Hoffman’s dream of mining for gold, Dave was offered the chance to join the team full time. He hasn’t looked back since.

Natural born leader

Despite not having years of experience in mining, Turin makes up for it with his expertise in earthworks. He has over two decades experience operating construction equipment safety and effectively, and there isn’t a piece of machinery he isn’t qualified to operate. However, it’s his natural leadership ability that solidifies his importance.

“At a very young age my Dad saw leadership qualities in me,” explains Turin. “He made me the paving boss when I was senior in High School because he could see my potential. That’s how I view people. I think when you see the potential in people, rather than the negatives, you have the patience to train them accordingly.”

Turin’s guidance has made him a vital asset to the Hoffman crew, as well as the TV series. Most notably with Kevin Hyatt, a previous electrical lineman and garbage collector. With the patience and knowledge of Turin, Hyatt has become an accomplished miner.

“That’s one of the things I love to do; taking young men and teaching them to become great. I enjoy watching them take off.”

According to Turin, gold mining requires several things to be successful including hard work, resiliency, and most importantly, understanding of surroundings.

“I’ve been around too many miners and operators that focus in on what’s right in front of them. They don’t see what’s to their left or to their right. When that happens, they’re dangerous. That’s the one thing I always stress with my guys, especially because we have these camera guys darting in and out.”

Not surprising, the filming of the show requires Mr. Miyagi –like concentration for the gold miners.

“Being on the show can be very stressful, however, I believe it makes us better miners and operators,” says Turin. “We can focus on the task at hand while also being aware of our surrounding and knowing where the cameramen are at all times. It makes for great training.”

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