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Old 03-29-2011, 07:21 PM   #1501
squonker OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Speed View Post
As always, a great read.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Speed
Is there anywhere to divert to between P1 where you picked him up and P44 where he 'disappeared'? Wildcat trucker on the iceroads? Security being sneaky by running a truck into a group to see if they are sticking to the rules? Will we have the real answer in an upcoming installment?
Alex, where we leave the Snap Lake road after Snap 1 we rejoin the main Tibbett To Contwoyto road just north of P. 46. Forty six is big enough to park on if you really feel the need, but it isn't somewhere you'd usually stop and I think Security would want to know why if you did so. On this occasion, though, because of the spin out on P.1. the northbound Snap trucks were parked waiting on P.46 so he couldn't have stopped there even if he'd wanted to. Forty five doesn't have a pull out on it, and Charlie says he saw 1371 pull over behind him on P.44 so we know that's where he was. There's room for about 6 trucks there, kinda an overflow for southbound trucks when Lockhart is full.

Security sneaking in a spy? Nah, Security is, for the most part, pretty cool. Last year was the first year for a new company, which had won the contract. They hired many of the old people back, most of whom are ex-RCMP and they are all good guys. Not only do they respect us and what we do, but they will tell you that their first responsibility is to help us. I'm friends with a few of them socially and keep in touch with one or two throughout the year, meeting in person if we're in eachothers' towns. Every so often they hire someone new and sometimes these guys aren't so cool, but I can't conceive them running 'plain clothes trucks'.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ragtoplvr
In the USA you also have the no more than 70 hours in eight days or some kind of rule. do you have that in Canada?
Rod, there is something along those lines, yes. Not sure of the exact numbers though because I've hardly done any long distance trucking.


Quote:
Originally Posted by karhaulr
what gear are you in crossing the ice? Are you idling or are you under power? I guess what I'm asking..... what RPM?


when you said you have a bunk heater, did you mean an espar type unit or the factory heater from engine coolant?
I have run some old trucks across the flat lands years ago and damn near froze to death, frosty guages and an ice scraper for the inside windows


as always, another great season, thanks for draggin us along.

P.S. are you still working in the weather station?
What gear am I in? Usually jeans and a t-shirt . 25 km/h is 5th in the 'Pete, at about 1300rpm. 10 km/h is second at about 1500 rpm or 3rd at about 1100 - up to you which you use I guess, but you're not really under load, no, so I usually go with the higher gear/lower rpms. But remember that you're not on completely flat ice - the truck always sits in a depression created by its own weight, so you're always climbing uphill slightly...just very slightly. Can't remember what the gears are for all the speeds, but at 60 km/h in the hammer lanes I'm in 11th.

Bunk heater is the factory one, run off the engine coolant.

It doesn't look as though I'll be going back to Eureka (the wx stn) because I'm in the process of training to be something else right now, which will keep me busy full time. And it's related to this thread so half way through April I'll let you know what it is. I still have company email for the folks I go to Eureka for and still know what's going on on a daily basis. They took some great pics of the wolves right in camp the other day - very cool. I miss that place and would love to go back again one day but I think it's unlikely. Shame, but I got to go twice...it would be fantastic to go there in summer once, though (average summer temp is +4c).

But...having just told you that I'll be busy full time at one job come April, I did just get a call from Boss about an hour ago and there is a chance I'll go back to the ice roads next year. It might be advantageous to the company I'm about to start work for if I did . How about I leave you with that .

Thanks for posting!
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:10 PM   #1502
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Hey Squonker,

did you buy a mine up there??????

I have a logistical question..... all the product you drivers haul on the ice is sitting in town. Sooooo, is it brought to town in a 'just in time' delivery, or is the product delivered there weeks or months in advance, and sits waiting for you to haul it?

I would think with winter and bad weather, it would be a son of a gun getting it up there all at once. On the other side of the coin, it would cost a ton of money to stock pile all the mines needs for months at a time.
Please enlighten me so I can get some sleep....

Would it be possible ice/weight wise, to run something like an Australian roadtrain not just a super B?????

I need to get a life!
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:57 PM   #1503
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Originally Posted by John Fry View Post
Hope Ben doesn't mind me grabbing this one.

... I never use the 14day so I don't know the amount of time off needed to switch.
Not at all, John. And I can add that the amount of time off for a 'reset' is 72 hrs.



Quote:
Originally Posted by karhaulr
I have a logistical question..... all the product you drivers haul on the ice is sitting in town. Sooooo, is it brought to town in a 'just in time' delivery, or is the product delivered there weeks or months in advance, and sits waiting for you to haul it?
Over several months then stored in various quarries and laydowns around the YK area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karhaulr
I would think with winter and bad weather, it would be a son of a gun getting it up there all at once. On the other side of the coin, it would cost a ton of money to stock pile all the mines needs for months at a time.
Please enlighten me so I can get some sleep....
Yeah I bet it ain't cheap to store all that stuff, but the mines ain't exactly hurtin'!

Now go to bed!



Quote:
Originally Posted by karhaulr
Would it be possible ice/weight wise, to run something like an Australian roadtrain not just a super B?????

I need to get a life!
Well, that's one for the engineers to answer, but I don't see why not....
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:39 PM   #1504
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Trip # 5




Feb 22nd 2011


Left town at midnight with another Super-B load of cement for Diavik. Mmmm, Super-B !

It was a hard run to Lockhart, and for the last couple of hours it was all I could do to stay awake. We arrived there at 08:13 and I'd love to have pressed on, but common sense said to grab some shut eye first...Mackay Lake was only 2 hrs away! I hit the bunk for two hours and immediately felt like a different person. Nice.



Many of the cracks in Mackay Lake had been filled in by snow which did make things a little better, but I still managed to find a couple of doozies! The weather began to close in the further north I went, so already I was making plans to get all the way back to Lockhart having been unloaded. If by any chance I had managed to make it to the mine without snoozing at Lockhart, I most certainly wouldn't have been able to make it back any further than P.49 so I was doubly glad for the chance I'd taken to dream some more about Lena Heady .

I arrived at Diavik at 18:20, greeted by a bitter wind (I even underlined 'bitter' in my notes!) and the usual clusterfuck. Actually there'd been a crew change that day and the new crew wasn't bad, but the woman marshaling me to the unload zone did manage to pull a classic...

..At the mines, every vehicle has both 4-ways and rotating beacons on as long as the vehicle is being used, 24/7, and that would include the time the marshal's pick-up is sat outside the dispatch office, for instance. We are told at orientation that we are to have either 4-ways or beacons. Some highway trucks only have a $20 magnetic beacon slapped on the roof and those guys might use both. Other trucks, like mine, have what are known as 'fancy beacons' 'cos they're...well, fancy!

So as I'm heading down the hill out of the parking lot following the marshal, with my fancy beacons on (as per the rules) which believe me you'd have to be completely blind to miss (and it's dark by now too), the marshal comes on the radio and says, "755, can you turn your 4-ways on?". I nearly choked. I wanted to say, "Have you looked at my fucking roof?" but thought it might just go down a teeny bit better if I simply did what she'd asked.

Here is how ridiculous this is. If a truck is coming towards you in the dark with low beam headlights on, and its 4-ways, the 4-ways are so much dimmer than the low beams that you have to be literally about 23.256 ft from that truck before you can even tell that it has its 4-ways on. The fancy beacons on my roof you can see from over a kilometer away, and she is worried about my fucking 4-ways? I shared a laugh about it with many people over the next few days and the most common reaction was, "Yep, they're different at Diavik" .

I should also add that when I first drove this truck last year Boss pointed out the fancy beacons and told me that other truckers would even comment on them, and they do. Can I turn my 4-ways on? Gimme a break! Look - big fucking fancy beacons!!



Anyway, now that I've calmed down....!

I shot this video (on a different trip) while being escorted around the mine. It's cool!

Haul trucks from Squonker on Vimeo.



I left at 21:15 with Mark from Valley, who was driving a newer version of my truck. Nice. (But not as nice!) The wind was worse down south and Lockhart was full so we pulled over on P.44. We'd already discussed our plans and I was only planning on being there a while, Mark for longer. I parked making sure I could get out again, Mark found a spot on the inside somewhere.

Feb 23rd 2011

Up at 06:15 to head to Lockhart, alone. Well, maybe not. Literally 30 seconds before me, another truck that had been parked there pulled out. Cool. Until he went down the hammer lane at 40 km/h. Made a note not to be behind him when I left Lockhart....

I saw Paul at Lockhart. Paul had driven for Carl with me in '09 and I hadn't seen him since then - likely because he hadn't been back since then. There is a photo of him somewhere back in this thread. Hooked up with Dale and Jim to head south, leaving at 07:50 having satisfied my growling stomach.



Got back to Yellowknife at 13:45 and was told to drop my trains. Oh, that isn't good news. Trains pay better, and don't get backhauls (much). They tell me that they have something pre-loaded, but if it's on a straight trailer I likely will get a backhaul...that means a long wait at the mine, and that in turn means I likely won't get a 7th trip in. Hmmm. So the backhaul, if I get one, will actually end up costing me big $$. But, I must stress here that dispatch was only trying to help me out and I appreciate that. Their thinking is that a pre-loaded trailer saves time over one that has to be loaded, and that makes sense, just not in this case! If it had been night time and Kevin was in dispatch I'd have asked him for a re-load on my trains, but I don't know Steve on days well enough to ask him. Oh well, it's another trip, at least, might as well go and find out what it is....

Down Charlie's Hill from Squonker on Vimeo.

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Old 03-30-2011, 10:26 PM   #1505
troidus
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A 'regular' B-train (two axle bridge)




A Super-B train (tri-axle bridge)
Neither of those look right to me. Around here there will be tandems on the lead trailer, tandems on what my dad called the converter (the middle fifthwheel), then tandems on the following trailer, for a total of six axles, plus three axles (steering, drive, and tag or steering and two drive) on the tractor. Triples are different, since the trailers are shorter, so each trailer will have one axle, each converter has one, and the tractor will have two or three, for a total of 7 or 8 axles. Pulling two short trailers, there would be one axle on each trailer, one on the converter, and most likely only one non-steering axle on the tractor, for five total. Other weirdness is stuff like P.I.E. equipment that had pseudo three axle tractors where the third axle carried a separate fifthwheel and the whole unit could detach to permit pulling doubles without having to hunt around for a converter ('cause you brought your own with you).
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:19 AM   #1506
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Drybones Lk. after storm from Squonker on Vimeo.

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Old 04-04-2011, 04:23 PM   #1507
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Neither of those look right to me. Around here there will be tandems on the lead trailer, tandems on what my dad called the converter (the middle fifthwheel), then tandems on the following trailer, for a total of six axles, plus three axles (steering, drive, and tag or steering and two drive) on the tractor.
If this is what your describing? I haven't seen those in use for years, axle/load/length rules I think have pretty much killed off any useful commercial use.




Alex.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:10 PM   #1508
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If this is what your describing? I haven't seen those in use for years, axle/load/length rules I think have pretty much killed off any useful commercial use.




Alex.
UPS uses them alot here in Canada, as does Tim Hortons.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:22 PM   #1509
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UPS uses them on the Kansas Turnpike, too, where they can run triples.

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Old 04-07-2011, 12:08 PM   #1510
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Squonk,

Nice vid on floating the gears. I think it is more interesting for those that have never driven, to watch the tach when floating.

The trucks I drive have a 400 rpm difference in gears. So, if I shift at 1600 rpm, I will let the rpms drop to 1200, then complete the shift. Downshifting is the opposite, at 1100, pull the lever out of gear, press the go pedal, at 1500 rpm put lever into the next lower gear.

When I first started driving, I had some problems shifting. My instructor pointed out the 400 rpm shift points and after that, piece of cake.

We run a variety of manufacturers, it is amazing how some will float so easily, but others, the foot feed is so sensitive that controlling the Rs is tough. The newer Internationals loose RPMs almost instantly it seems, where older Macks fall fairly slow.

Good reading.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:09 PM   #1511
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If this is what your describing? I haven't seen those in use for years, axle/load/length rules I think have pretty much killed off any useful commercial use.




Alex.
Those are conventional dollies in use every day by UPS, Fed Ex and many of the LTL companies here in the States. Pretty sure that photo is an auction photo of Consolidated Freightway's equipment before auction.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:53 AM   #1512
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Squonk,

Nice vid on floating the gears. I think it is more interesting for those that have never driven, to watch the tach when floating.
Hey,

Yeah, there were a few ways I was aware that I could have made that video better. Ideally you'd have been able to see the gear lever and the truck moving in relation to the ground as well as the tach, but you get what you pay for! At least anyone who has ever paid any attention to the way an engine sounds when it is under load as opposed to simply being revved up while idling will know that the truck was indeed moving!

I'll write up the next trip this week. There are 5 videos to go with it so I have to get them all uploaded first...

Cheers.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:26 PM   #1513
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UPS uses them alot here in Canada, as does Tim Hortons.
I messed that one up.

Guess what I saw the other day after not seeing them for years? A fed ex double on a dolly. Whats ironic? I drive past a small fed ex terminal nearly every day...



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Those are conventional dollies in use every day by UPS, Fed Ex and many of the LTL companies here in the States. Pretty sure that photo is an auction photo of Consolidated Freightway's equipment before auction.
Quite possible, image was courtesy of google image search.

Alex.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:39 PM   #1514
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Some pics to be going on with...















And a couple taken in YK...




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Old 04-11-2011, 07:05 PM   #1515
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[QUOTE=squonker;15643026]Some pics to be going on with...



I hope that has good antifreeze. How would they get that started, put a tent or portable building around it and put a big heater in there, or what?. I am guessing it could not roll into a shop because all the oil is jellied. If the antifreeze froze and leaked out it would be an environmental problem, right.

Such an extreme environment, always surprised at what lives there.

Hope you are having a good year.

Rod
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