Over the coming weeks CAT will be featuring a series of interesting 9-to-5s that shatter the pretence of “the daily grind”. We have searched the country to find the most fascinating tradie jobs – from the uber-creative to the visionary, to the dirty and the downright daring! We have captured the incredible stories of tradies who spend their workdays suspended over 20-storey buildings, traveling the globe to transform dirt mounds into world-class Red Bull stunt tracks and make mine sites into works-of-art in all their gritty glory.


The Celebrity Tradie ~ Dale Vine

To kick us off is one of the most recognisable tradies and celebrity landscaper, Dale Vine. Viney shot to fame in 2012 when he won the hearts of Australians on Nine Network’s reality renovation show, The Block.

The lovable larrikin has since been called on for encore appearances in 2013 The Block All Stars program and again in 2014 for the Fans v Faves series.

Since The Block Dale has appeared as a regular panellist on the Nine Network’s TV show, ManSpace and further still on travel programs, Postcards and Getaway.

Dale’s knockabout charm and laid-back approach saw him secure a spot on the Men’s Style Magazine 2014 Men of Influence list.
Read more about Dale’s story and what his day on the job looks like, below…



Sum up a typical work day as a landscape gardener?
The reason I became a landscaper was that the tasks of this trade are so broad and you can be doing something different every day. I take on the entire job outside a home, from design through to construction. This includes; concreting, paving, drainage, retaining walls, decking, lighting, lawns, garden planting, watering systems and garden maintenance.


How did you get into landscape gardening?
I’ve always had a general passion for gardening and plant life. My grandfather gave me my first bonsai when I was six (which I killed with love from over watering and trimming every 10mins) and I’ve been doing bonsai and gardening ever since.


How’d you get involved in The Block in 2012?
My wife and I loved watching The Block the year before our season. We’d just got back from our honeymoon and thought why not apply. We applied with only a week left of applications and were in there competing three weeks later.

How was The Block experience for you?
The Block was an unbelievable experience. We loved every minute of it, even the crazy, high-stress moments. It pushes you out of your comfort zone and lets you learn what sort of a person you can be if you push through. It was an experience we’ll never forget and one I’m sure we’ll talk about forever. It was very rewarding and there were plenty of beers, singing and dancing among the long sleepless nights of painting.


How do you juggle day-to-day work with being a celebrity Tradie?

Day-to-day work hasn’t changed as a celebrity (I refer to myself as a Z-grade celebrity) I work for myself so I don’t cop any flack at work. Maybe a couple of cheeky photos with clients or their kids if they are big fans of The Block.


What is the best part of your job?
Working outdoors, the spring and summer months are so good to get up and go to work.


What is the worst part of your job?
Working outdoors in winter months. No one enjoys grabbing a metal crowbar in the frost or digging holes in the rain!


Any funny on-the-job stories you could share?
We love finding pipes in the ground after we’ve already hit them…and we often refer to our team as ‘dial once you’ve dug’ rather than ‘dial before you dig’.


Any interesting industry slang you could explain?
I’ve inherited some good slang from an old boss who was a classic. He never called anything by its real name. If he wanted a Spirit Level he’d ask for “The Stick with a Bubble”, or a String Line was the “Stringy Thingy” and the Hammer was the  “Tap Tap”. We keep using these pearlers and love making up new ones for other tools.


What are 3 words which describe your job?
Dirty, outdoor and fun.


What do you do for fun when you’re not at work?
Fun used to be dirt bike riding through bush tracks, camping and fishing. Fun now is playing with my two boys every minute I’m home until they’re old enough to come dirt bike riding, camping and fishing.


Why do you choose CAT?
I have two favourite CAT work wear products; the Brakeman Boot are the best work boots I’ve ever owned, I really rate them for comfort and durability, and the other is my everyday Utility Shorts. Rain, hail or shine, I stick to these shorts all year round!


What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the industry?
If someone asks me the best way to get into landscaping I tell them to do a pre-apprenticeship course at TAFE in horticultural. There’s a lot of landscapers around but many of them don’t have the best plant knowledge, which I think can set you apart!





Follow Dale on Instagram: @Vineyd

Follow Dale on Facebook: @DaleandSophie