imageRichard Hammond’s Crash Course (Series 1)
DVD, © 2013 BBC Worldwide

Although Richard Hammond is most renowned for co-hosting Top Gear, he likes to keep himself busy. One of his most recent TV series projects, Richard Hammond’s Crash Course, was filmed in America and released in April of last year (5 months before the UK).

The show follows Hammond in the United States, finding unique jobs that require heavy machinery. He is given three days to learn and successfully operate these machines so that he can call himself ‘qualified’.

The first episode gets straight into the thick of it, with Hammond attempting to learn how to operate a M1A2 Abrams Tank. To see if he has what it takes to call himself one of the crew, he must learn the roles of the commander, gunner, loader and driver, operating a 68-ton vehicle.

One of the episodes I enjoyed most was Hammond visiting one of America’s busiest demolition companies. There, he is challenged to pilot a track hoe, a demolition machine and a wrecking ball, jobs that would definitely fulfill the dreams of a young boy.

At the conclusion of the three days he is given a test to demolish a house whilst leaving one room untouched. An amusing recurring theme throughout the series is always having a minivan conveniently put in place to destroy with one of the machines being used, much to Hammond’s amusement. 

During the season, Hammond tries his hand at jobs that aren’t so familiar with the general public. One example is a lumberjack. He tries learning how to operate a tree harvester, a feller-buncher and a log loader. His lumber jacking skills are then put to the test, having to complete tasks in all three machines in a set time.

The show is also accompanied by great annotations that pop up on the screen, giving facts and details about the machine currently being used.

Using a crane to play lawn bowls with refrigerators, operating big dump trucks and bulldozers at a garbage tip and becoming a temporary fireman are just some examples of Hammond’s adventure through the United States.

Richard Hammond’s Crash Course is an entertaining series that has a relaxed vibe throughout, making it easy and enjoyable viewing.

Using’s unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award Richard Hammond’s Crash Course (Series 1)


Richard Hammond’s Crash Course is available for purchase at major stores in Australia. Our review copy was kindly supplied to us by Roadshow Media.

CLICK HERE to view our other Top Gear media reviews.

Today’s review was written by Melbourne-based reader Josh Kruse, who has joined the team as a guest product reviewer. If you would be interested in learning more about becoming a product reviewer, click here.

Josh Kruse
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.