Caterpillar Inc. Plays Jenga with 8 Tons of Wood

In the first of a series of amazing Built For It Trial videos, Caterpillar Inc. pits some of its machines—including huge excavators and telehandlers—against a mountain of massive wood blocks in the ultimate game of Jenga.

The object of the game is for heavy equipment operators to remove and then reposition a stack of 27 blocks—weighing 600 pounds apiece—one at a time, without toppling the structure.

The video shows the operator’s skill, and the power, strength and agility of the machines.

Although all of the operators were excited to be included in the film, Cat says there were some “nerves” in play before the big game.

Behind the scenes

So that the blocks would “slide” out of their slots more fluidly, the Cat crew sprinkled all of the wood with the same wax used on a shuffleboard table to allow game pucks to slide. The crew purchased every can of shuffleboard wax available within a 40-mile radius of the film set—72 cans in all.

The arena used as the stage for the challenge was larger than two regulation-size NFL football fields, and to capture all of the action, the crew positioned two of the 12 Go Pro cameras on the ground, where they fully expected both of them to sustain substantial damage. Remarkably, both cameras missed having any of the 600 pound blocks fall directly on them—one was missed by less than an inch.

The game took approximately 28 hours to play and has been edited down to just a few minutes of video.

Watch behind-the-scenes footage.

Image courtesy of Caterpillar Inc.

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