The self-proclaimed Chief Dirt Nerd, Aaron Witt, was described as “a kid in a candy store” when he and a camera person stepped foot at the Millennium and North Steepbank mines earlier this year.

Aaron has built a devoted online following by travelling the globe to highlight the world of mining and all things dirt, in a phrase he’s coined the “Dirt World.” In January 2023, Suncor welcomed the YouTube influencer and CEO of BuildWitt to film a series of video blogs (vlogs) on the oil sands mining process at Base Plant, and at our Mildred Lake operations.

When the video was taken, Matt Budden was one of a few people who toured along with Aaron to inform and educate. Even with Matthew’s 17 years as an employee, it was an experience he’ll never forget.

“I was not familiar with Aaron and his videos until I was asked if I would tour them around. I then started looking up his YouTube videos to see what it was all about,” says Matt, who is a Team Lead in Maintenance. “My experience working with Aaron and his camera person was excellent. They kept wanting to know more information, so they could communicate it through the video. They were engaged in the conversations in the pits with the operators.”

After the time spent at site learning about Suncor’s operating sites, Aaron produced two video episodes featuring Base Plant mining operations. Suncor receives frequent media and tour requests, and all are reviewed for feasibility and fit, but many are declined. The request from Aaron Witt helps to educate audiences about our operations and recognize the work our field employees perform in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo.

“To be honest, Aaron was like a kid in a candy store. He was super excited once we were in the pit looking at the size of the equipment, and just talking numbers on what a shovel bucket could hold and what a haul truck could carry,” says Matt. “I was proud to watch both videos because they showcase how we work as a team at Suncor. Most people have families near and far that don’t understand what we do, or the magnitude of the machinery that run in our operations every day, but this is an eye opener.”

To date, these videos have already had more than 70,000 views. To view or share with friends and family, check out the videos below.

Comparing the BIGGEST Trucks on Earth
Autonomous Haul Trucks in the Canadian Oil Sands