Field Operations Manager by day and Jenga "Conductor" by night, Chad Cremeens of Caterpillar Inc. (USA), is certainly no amateur when it comes to high-risk situations.
Continuously looking to bring fun and innovation into its educational sessions, the team embarked on a mission to attempt the largest game of Jenga, using Cat machines to maneuver the blocks.
Not your ordinary game of Hasbro® Jenga, this one would require extensive practice, planning, and safety precaution measurements.
"We spent a ton of time pre-planning," Chad said.
"Once we were set on executing the game, the first hurdle we had to figure out was where to get the blocks."
Upon doing research, they connected with a company in Oregon who agreed to produce and cut the blocks for their attempt, which were made from laminated pine beams.
Since each of the 27 blocks measured 8 ft long (243.8 cm), 2 ft 8 in wide (81.2 cm), and 1 ft 4 in high (40.6 cm) and weighed approximately 600 lbs, safety was an issue that doesn’t normally confront players of the traditional format.
"Just like a real job site, we had to make sure that everyone would remain safe while keeping production quality high," he explained.
That meant forecasting an array of possible game scenarios, followed by determining the best Cat products to use in those situations.
The team began their practice with table Jenga, where they studied the inner-workings of the game and learned special techniques that could be applied during their record attempt with the Cat machines.
Ultimately, five Cat machines were selected as the game "players" - a 320E excavator, TH514C telehandler, 277D multi-terrain loader, M316D material handler and 349E excavator – and while Cremeens and his team attempted to pre-plan the first 5-6 moves, they knew well that the game would dictate which blocks to activate and when.
As “Conductor”, Cremeens led the game from the ground, directing each action the machine operators took toward removing the blocks and placing them gently back onto the top of the stack.
The tower began with 9 layers and, like a standard game of table Jenga, there were several times throughout where they began to push a block but quickly retracted saying, “nope, not that one”.
Each time a block was successfully removed, the stakes became higher and the game more intense.
The game continued for 28 hours, during which 16 blocks were removed and four layers were added to the top, meaning the game ended with 13 layers.
"When we were conceptualizing unique ways, we could showcase Cat machines at work and someone suggested a game of Jenga, the room erupted in excitement," said Caterpillar Brand Creative Director, Archie Lyons.
"Hasbro and Caterpillar have long recognized and celebrated ‘the builders’ among us, and this project was a natural fit."
Having reached a peak height of approximately 20 ft., Caterpillar Inc. successfully achieved the record title as featured in Guinness World Records 2019!