Our Top 5 most popular stories of 2020

Curse of oak island

From ConExpo to COVID-19 to television shows and video games, the world of heavy equipment generated headlines that spilled outside of its usual audience in 2020. 

Here are the top five most-read articles published on equipmentjournal.com throughout 2020:

5Well rehabilitation in Alberta

alberta oil

In July, Backwoods Energy Services, one of the largest Indigenous-owned businesses in Canada, began the Alberta Department of Energy’s Site Rehabilitation Program (SRP). The program marked a significant step in the acceleration of reclamation activities on an initial 56 oil well sites on Enoch Cree Nation lands on the western edge of Edmonton. 

At sites with minimal environmental impacts, remediation efforts require the removal of only a few truckloads of soil. However, in the case of the larger impacted areas, clean-up efforts involve more than 10,000 cubic metres of soil. 

Each well will required between 448 man-hours of labour to more than 1,600 man-hours for more complex sites.

“Many well sites on our Nation’s lands were drilled in the 1950s and are in need of remediation and reclamation work, which would not be possible without this program’s support,” said Chief Billy Morin of Enoch Cree Nation. “Returning our land to its natural state will make way for more viable use into the future.”

Read the full story here.

4The Curse of Oak Island

In March, the seventh season of the History Channel’s The Curse of Oak Island concluded. 

Through the latest season of the series, Strongco equipment played a supporting role.

More than 3.13 million people tuned in to watch fortune-hunters Marty and Rick Lagina renew their search for lost antiquities -— ranging from Templar treasures, Marie Antoinette’s jewels and Shakespeare’s missing manuscripts to the Ark of the Covenant — all of which are rumoured to be on Oak Island in Nova Scotia. 

Members of the show needed powerful, energy-efficient machines for excavation and cleanup. They selected two pieces from Volvo Construction Equipment: the EC200E and ECR145E medium crawler excavators, the latter of which can be seen in multiple episodes. 

“We’re more than fans of the show,” said Stephen George, regional vice president of Eastern Canada for Strongco. “We feel connected to Marty and Rick’s values – their grit, their perseverance, their commitment.” 

Read the full story here.

3Construction is essential

In March, as lockdowns became a reality due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction was spared in Ontario. 

Premier Doug Ford announced the provincial government will close non-essential businesses to “flatten the curve.” However, construction, mining and forestry were allowed to continue to operate with the proper protocols in place. 

Heavy equipment repair and rental were also deemed essential services, as well as road construction and maintenance.

Read the full story here.

2ConExpo 2020

As coronavirus fears began to ramp up worldwide, an “overwhelming majority” of ConExpo exhibitors confirmed their participation at the Las Vegas show. 

Cancellations accounted for about 1.7 per cent of 251,000-square-metres of floor space, and ConExpo was able to re-sell about 1,400 square metres of the cancelled space.

Registrations for ConExpo totalled more than 130,000 people. At the conclusion of the show, cancellations from international attendees totalled less than 1 per cent. 

All business areas within the Volvo Group decided to not attend ConExpo 2020 due to the outbreak and continuing concerns relating to the coronavirus. However, the displays for Volvo remained in place at the show. 

After COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, ConExpo organizations decided to cancel the final day of the show in the interest of public safety. 

Read the full story here.

1Caterpillar’s Pac-Man


Equipment Journal’s most-read story of the year featured Caterpillar’s massive recreation of the Pac-Man gameboard. 

To celebrate its 95th birthday, Caterpillar created a massive Pac-Man gameboard, where skid steers serve as the game’s characters.

As part of the Cat Trials series of videos, Pac-Man was played on a 49.5 metre by 55 metre version of the iconic game, which is 19,040 per cent larger than the original scale of the maze on the classic arcade screen, and was built and played using the latest Cat equipment as well as grade and remote technology.

In total, 70 labour hours were required for a 336 excavator to create the life-size gameboard. About 195 cubic metres of cut/fill dirt was removed to build the maze that was comprised of 151 corners and 1.2-metre tall walls.

This year, Pac-man also celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Read the full story here.