Kerri Cutler and Craig Keeping work on two separate but interdependent teams that helped each other achieve big things in 2020.
At Syncrude, our workforce is made up of about 5,000 employees. We use the term workforce because when we work together as One Team, we are just that—a force. Due to the sequential, just-in-time nature of our production process, we all rely on each other to keep operations running smoothly.
Take Kerri and Craig’s story, for instance. They may not work directly together, but thanks to extraordinary teamwork and cross-discipline collaboration both of their teams achieved remarkable milestones in 2020.
As a heavy duty mechanic on Team 506, Craig’s team achieved an almost unimaginable milestone with one of the trucks from the 17-100 series, which were introduced into service in 1999 making them the oldest trucks in Syncrude’s fleet. Under the care of many, haul truck 100 surpassed 150,000 hours in service—more than doubling its original life expectancy of 72,000 hours!
Craig has been tuning up 100 series haulers for nearly a decade. Over the years he’s developed a real passion for keeping them running at their best and performing in line with the new models. He’s also the first to point out that a milestone like this doesn’t happen in isolation.
“No one person made 150,000 hours happen. It took a complete group effort to make it possible, from our leaders to our coordinators to the planning department to all the mechanics in the shop.
It’s a whole Aurora Mine Maintenance Team effort really.
– Craig Keeping
It’s that kind of teamwork that keeps our haul trucks running reliably and delivering a steady stream of oil sands to Extraction. It was also a major contributor in helping another set of our colleagues achieve an outstanding outcome of their own.
The Bitumen Production team set not one but two outstanding production records in 2020: best month ever in December with 13,383 kilobarrels (KBBL), breaking the previous record of 13,074 KBBL set in August 2016, and best week ever with 3,272 KBBL in the week of December 15, breaking the record of 3,251 KBBL set the week of December 22, 2018.
Panel Operator Kerri Cutler remarks that this amazing achievement is the result of cooperation and alignment across the organization. After working 13 years as a field operator, Kerri now puts her field experience to work in the control room.
“Being on the panel gives you a different perspective of the importance of equipment reliability, availability and working closely with other teams—upstream and downstream,” observed Kerri.
Collaboration is key. Everybody always comes together to figure out the most efficient, most effective way to get things done.
– Kerri Cutler
“This team spirit not only played a big role in achieving the record bitumen production, it also makes Syncrude a great place to work.”