Heavy Oil Science Centre - Overburden

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Art Garden

Involvement in the Oil Industry

Art starting working with Universal Industries in 1956. He started as a helper and then got involved in hauling tanks. He remembers trips when wires had to be lifted before a load could go through. They'd use a 2" x 2" with spikes to lift the wire and the driver would edge underneath.

In 1958, Art got his welding ticket and continued to work at Universal until 1966. During that time he recalls cutting casing for Clare Ross at Border Drilling.

In 1966 Art, Peter Kosteriva and Alvin Jardine started Weldex. At the beginning they had four or five employees and by 1975 they had a staff of 69 people. They sold out in 1977.

Recollections

He recalls hearing stories of the way things were before his time. At one time there was a wooden bridge at the Battle River. In order to get a load across the river, they would take a cable across the river, drop the trailer, go over to the other side with the truck and then pull the trailer across using the cable.

Sometimes they would skid wooden derricks using a cat. Nobody had trucks at that time and they couldn't tip the planks. It was the only way to move them.

Commented that McAllisters had a D2 Cat for digging pits. They used dynamite with the cable attached to the battery in a truck.

He remembers painting storage tanks from a bucket which was anchored at the top of the tank. You would kick yourself around the tank.

He recalls that it was Joe Gallagher and Cliff Hoskins who started building bigger tanks. He remembers when the tanks were only eight feet high.