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Old 03-16-2011, 01:44 AM   #1471
CruisnGrrl
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awesome adventures. can you challenge the tickets dot gives out?
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:08 PM   #1472
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Yeah, you can challenge them, but my understanding is that since the ticket was issued in the NWT, to challenge it you'd have to do so in the NWT, and if you live outside the Territory...well, it is cheaper just to pay up. Sucks, huh?
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:40 PM   #1473
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Still tuned in and enjoying this thread
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:06 AM   #1474
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Cheers, scrobs.


Here's some footage from a portage (a bumpy one apparently!) on the alternate route.

Alternate route from Squonker on Vimeo.

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Old 03-20-2011, 11:42 AM   #1475
Gale B.T.
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Nice , now where is that 11 inches* of suspension when you need it.
** I know , I know

YOu gonna love that KLR when you throw a leg over it again.

Drive smart, have fun!
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:56 PM   #1476
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Fry View Post
That's not that bumpy.
I agree 100%, but you should hear what the highway drivers had to say about it! Keep reading for more on that...


Oh, and hi Gale!
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:37 PM   #1477
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Trip #3



Feb 18th 2011

Another load of cement for Diavik. I had an 05:20 start from Yellowknife, following two Ventures West tankers to Lockhart. We were quite slow, though, for whatever reason. I do remember that Todd lost a bolt from a u-joint and had to stop on the top of Charlie's hill to put a new one in, but that only took 5 mins. The group behind us, led by Lex, caught up and we all ended up having lunch together at Lockhart. That was a good bunch - I remember we were taking the piss out of each other because we decided to split into two groups form there on. Between the six of us in the two convoys there were three trucks going to Diavik and three for BHP. We swapped around so that we would have a convoy for each mine, and there was much ribbing each other about which convoy was better and who was doing whom a favour by joining the other group, etc.

For a part of the lower portion of the road, you can hear southbound trucks on the alternate route while you're on the main road. The bitching about the state of the alternate route was unreal. For one thing it isn't even a bad road at all. As I think I've said before it reminded me of the Colomac Rd., and anyway the cracks and potholes on Mackay made that lake a far bumpier ride. I guess if you're a highway driver through and through then you may be a little uncomfortable, but I was shocked at the amount of crying that was going on. Worst of all, the crews were out working on the road while this was going on, so they were listening to these idiots insult them and the the job they were doing. All credit to them that the crews barely responded, and when they did so it was politely. I was actually a little embarrassed by the whole thing. People were saying that they'd quit before they had to drive that route again - sheesh, I could have made a fortune selling those adult diapers.

It was cold that morning, below -40c and the suspension in my rear trailer was acting up. The night before I'd dropped the trailer for a couple of hours to go into town and grab some supper, get a caffeine fix and stock up on junk food. When I came to reconnect I noticed that although the air rose in the lead trailer, the gauge on the rear trailer hardly moved. Here - I'll show you:

Lead trailer


Actually I think I might have deleted the wrong pics when I got back. that isn't the lead trailer at all, it is the rear one when I reconnected. That is reading a little below 20 pounds, and it should have been around the 40 or 50 mark. This isn't a huge problem and is to be expected in the cold, usually after just a couple of minutes driving it'll come back up of its own accord, and it is perfectly fine to run with it the way it is, so I left it. I kept checking it every time we stopped and had seen that it wasn't rising, but when I looked at Lockhart it read this:



That's a whole lot of zero, folks! This could be a problem, it depends on whether or not anything is banging or rubbing that shouldn't be, but I was lucky and there was no harm being done. It wasn't worth creating any unnecessary drama about so I poured some methyl hydrate into the supply line between the two trailers (usually I'd have done both but Lex was saying something about leaving the service line alone) and carried on. The suspension never rose so that would be something I'd have to sort out once I was back in YK before I headed out again.

I think I've mentioned before how much I respect and enjoy Lex. He writes poetry and on occasion has been known to give a recital when the boys are stormed in at Lockhart. I was listening to him chatting with another driver on the way up about his writing and some of the stories behind it, and I had an idea.

We arrived at Diavik at 21:45 and it was very busy. Everyone prepared themselves for a long wait, and having visited the drivers trailer for a few minutes obligatory chin-wagging with everyone else, I went to Lex's truck and asked whether he had any books of his poetry. Yes he did - two - and I am now the proud owner of one of each. Once the season is over and he's back home I'll ask him whether or not I can print one or two here for you. There are two that catch the feel of the job perfectly.

I wrote in my notes that I had thoroughly enjoyed talking to all my IRT buddies that day - Lex, Charlie, Johnny Mack, Todd, Rick. This trip was far more enjoyable than the previous two, mostly due to who I was running with (although my last trip south from Lockhart with all those CCI guys had been fun).




Feb 19th 2011

An extremely bitter wind came up while I was being unloaded, which made being outside for more than a few minutes at a time pretty much impossible. Once my straps were off and put away, I put myself away in the cab and made sure the engine kept its temp up until it was time to brave the outside again when I had to take my paperwork to the loader operator to sign. On the radio I could hear guys talking on P.54 and P.55, and they were having trouble seeing each other.

Left the mine at 03:25 and the plan was to get the hell off Mackay Lake before we ended up trapped, but word was that Lockhart was full and we were all so tired that we stopped on P.49 and took our chances. We ended up there for 2.75 hrs and luckily were able to carry right on once we woke up. Behind us we heard a loaded tanker roll over on P.52. Oops. I never got to see this, but later I saw a video that someone else had taken when they drove past. There was no damage and the driver wasn't hurt, but that truck was lying right on its side in the snowbank. The driver had moved to toward the edge as another rig passed, and got a bit too close. Once you have one wheel over the edge you're lucky if you aren't just sucked right in. He wasn't lucky.



On the way south I arrived at Lockhart at 10:45. My buddy Brad was there - remember Brad and Wayne and the conversations we'd had about beautiful women a few years ago? I left again at 12:05 and passed Bill Murray Hollywood Superstar coming the other way! Anyone that read last year's stories about our adventures running back and forth from Colomac will remember Bill Murray. Funny thing is that neither of us knew the other was up there - and he had even seen that my truck had a different driver and had asked about me. I heard him say something very brief on the radio and recognized his voice instantly. "Hi Bill" I said, and immediately he replied, "Hey Ben". That's cool, I like that. Unfortunately I never saw him again so we never had the chance to catch up.

Back in Yellowknife (arrived at 18:30), one of the quarry guys and I spent almost two hours lying under the rear trailer in the cold and the dark with various tiger torches trying to get the suspension to rise. Eventually we had to admit defeat and they gave me another set of Super-Bs. A nice one!

Ah bollocks. I had uploaded another video for you but now they say it needs to be uploaded again. I'll post it up in a while...

EDIT: Here is the vid...

Plow 2 from Squonker on Vimeo.

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Old 03-22-2011, 03:15 PM   #1478
Lornce
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Cool job!

What's a Super-B?

That's the second time today I've heard that mentioned.


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Old 03-22-2011, 04:04 PM   #1479
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A Super-B (or Super-B train) is a 32ft trailer pulling a 28ft trailer, with the two connected by a second 5th wheel (the first 5th wheel being what connects the 'lead' trailer (the front one) to your truck). The three axles between the two trailers are called the 'bridge'. You can get a regular (i.e. not super!) B train, too, and that only has a tandem axle bridge. The trailer lengths may be different too, I'm not sure.

Because a set of 'trains' (whether they're super or not) articulates between the two trailers, a regular trailer is sometimes referred to as a 'straight' trailer - it doesn't bend (unless you wrap it around a tree, perhaps!)

Hmmm, probably not the world's best explanation. I'll see what I can find in the way of pix....

A straight trailer




A 'regular' B-train (two axle bridge)




A Super-B train (tri-axle bridge)



A choo-choo train (on a bridge )




Hope that helps!
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:58 PM   #1480
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Clear as mud!

Thanks!

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:11 PM   #1481
Gale B.T.
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I understand the truck lingo, pups,b trains, super b , etc but what caught my eye was that real coal burner steamer , where is this one scene located and out of what town?

Thanks ahead of time for the update. Love your take on what a real rough road can/should/will be in real time.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:06 PM   #1482
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Hey Ben...

sorry, feel like a shit for not saying a thing and lurking like a little baby. Very much enjoying the crazy stories and glad my friend is making some cash. I still don't undertstand how you get the train on the ice?
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:07 PM   #1483
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonker View Post
One for you, galute - grader opening up Gordon Lake after a storm....


Grader on Gordon Lake from Squonker on Vimeo.

Very cool! Thanks Bud. Love seeing those graders on the ice.

I noticed in that vid and some of the others of plow vehicles it looks like they are moving along pretty good. Do they not have to follow the same 10kph speed limits as the trucks? The last grader I ran would run out at 29 mph in road gear, talk about fun on ice. LOL.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:33 PM   #1484
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale B.T. View Post
I understand the truck lingo, pups,b trains, super b , etc but what caught my eye was that real coal burner steamer , where is this one scene located and out of what town?

Thanks ahead of time for the update. Love your take on what a real rough road can/should/will be in real time.

ride smart gale
Gale, the choo choo train is from google! Sorry to disappoint you - I have no idea what the details are behind the picture, just thought it might generate a larff if I put it up while talking about 'trains' and 'bridges'. I hope it did...!


Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl
sorry, feel like a shit for not saying a thing and lurking like a little baby. Very much enjoying the crazy stories and glad my friend is making some cash. I still don't undertstand how you get the train on the ice?
Jenna, no feeling like shit while reading this thread. It's da rulz! Good to hear from you, and I see no harm in lurking (unless it's the kind of lurking the cops need to hear about...).

How to get the train onto the ice? Hmmm....

Be good!




Quote:
Originally Posted by galute
I noticed in that vid and some of the others of plow vehicles it looks like they are moving along pretty good. Do they not have to follow the same 10kph speed limits as the trucks? The last grader I ran would run out at 29 mph in road gear, talk about fun on ice. LOL.
You know, I can honestly say that I only take those vids of the graders and plows for you! I know I'll be in shit if I don't, and every so often I think, "Oh, I should film this for galute"!

That's a good question re:the speed limits. No, weighing so much less the equipment doesn't have to keep to the same speed limits as the trucks. Also, plowing snow often works better with a little speed (when you're using a blade as opposed to a bucket, anyway). That does bring up a few good points, actually, but that's a whole different rant!

Glad you're enjoying the videos, there are more to come (including one of the steam train on the ice!!)
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:05 AM   #1485
CruisnGrrl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonker View Post
Yeah, you can challenge them, but my understanding is that since the ticket was issued in the NWT, to challenge it you'd have to do so in the NWT, and if you live outside the Territory...well, it is cheaper just to pay up. Sucks, huh?
with the hit's my insurance takes per ticket (4 tickets will give you 200% surcharge) it's cheaper to pay a paralegal to get it thrown out for you.
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