Finning Hosts Regional Operator Challenge To Identify The Best Equipment Operator In Western Canada

3 November 2022

Fifty of Western Canada’s top equipment operators met in Maple Ridge, BC to compete for the opportunity to advance in the 2022-2023 Global Operator Challenge. The winner advanced to the regional final in Clayton, North Carolina with the chance to earn their way into the final at ConExpo in 2023.

The race to find the world’s best equipment operator is well underway. In September of 2022, Finning, in partnership with the IUOE Local 115 Training Association, hosted a key leg in the annual Global Operator Challenge.

Heavy equipment operators from companies across Western Canada were invited to show off their skills on a 40-acre, natural gravel reserve in Maple Ridge, BC. And, as the host, Finning provided a range of fully electronic, Next Generation Cat machines, from excavators to dozers, for the competing operators to navigate three challenges that would test material handling and precision. All under the pressure of competing against the clock and each other.

Event challenges included a ‘pick and place’, where operators tested their equipment dexterity using a Cat 420 XE Backhoe to carefully move three challenging items onto a nearby podium. This was followed by a ‘dig and swing’ challenge where operators were required to load a nearby Cat 730 Rock Truck to a target weight of 20 tons using a Cat 325 Excavator. The third and final event was a ‘load and go’ challenge that would test the combination of material handling speed and stability as operators weaved in and out of a tight obstacle course using a Cat 980 XE Wheel Loader.

Watch: Finning Operator Challenge 2022

Competitors were vying for their chance to represent Western Canada at the recently completed regional finals in Clayton, North Carolina. From here, two winners from the 17 competing operators were selected to represent North America at ConExpo 2023 in Las Vegas starting March 14th for the chance to be crowned the best operator in the world.

Finning would like to congratulate our regional winner, Ben Dunbar, from Windley Contracting Ltd. Ben advanced as our Western Canadian winner to the regional final in North Carolina and placed 5th among North American competitors. In doing so, Ben recorded the strongest time on the ‘trench and run’ challenge at the regional final.

Regional winner, Ben Dunbar Regional winner, Ben Dunbar

For anyone interested in watching the Road to Regionals, completed events are available on demand and you can register to watch the finals on the Global Operator Challenge event page.

Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK and Ireland.