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Old 05-08-2011, 08:30 AM   #1546
Pflum
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Just found this thread yesterday, awesome stuff. I'm only on page eleven, my hat's off to you guys. Can't even imagine the long hours and extreme temps. Great job!
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:52 AM   #1547
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looking forward to reading next year's report.
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:58 AM   #1548
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I`m hanging out to hear some of his stories about his new job; teaching people to drive trucks has to be a barrel of laughs.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:35 PM   #1549
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Well lookie here....A partial season of Ice Road trucking and I dang near missed it

Good tales as always Ben!
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:13 AM   #1550
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I was looking for stuff about trucking - Ice road trucking. And I came across a website that somehow lead me to another website, and to another and so on, were I came across a link to this thread. I have spent the last 3 hours reading this thread and I am only on page 10!! This will certainly keep me interested for days and possibly even weeks to come.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:40 AM   #1551
bolink654
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Now that I have finished reading it...

I too read an article in a magazine years ago about these roads. I don't remember the magazine name as I read it while sitting in a doctors office, or hospital waiting room, so by then the magazine was probably years old. I loved what I'd read. I was only about 13 or 14 then (24 now)

Since then I had been watching the Ice Road Truckers on TV. I suspected all along that they were 90% full of it. Turns out I'm right.

A Year ago or so I ended up with my Class A CDL here in the states. Got it for free, all paid by the state of Arkansas - under the stipulation that at the end they'd hold a job fair and we'd get a job and work for at least 3 months (or else we'd pay for it). That fell through the floor, we did not get a job fair, and we were the only group (5 of us) to go through their CDL schooling (they were supposed to run 3,000 people through it), and because of that, I too didn't have to get a job... which is good and bad I guess. I can't BUY a job, yet I'm thankful I didn't have to pay for it.

Anywho, things will work out, but I'm gonna say that bit I read in that unknown magazine, is what planted the seed, that has now got me a license. Now to just use it.

Also your writing has honestly made it sound even cooler than before. I used to think it was dangerous, and just driving. But no, it's not that dangerous, it's more than just driving on ice. It's the scenery, the wild life, the camaraderie, ect. I personally think the slow speeds on the ice would be kinda fun.
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:38 AM   #1552
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Before you move from nice, warm Arkansas to Yellowknife, here's something to read:

The Cremation of Sam McGee

by Robert W. Service

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.


Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ‘round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he’d often say in his homely way that “he’d sooner live in hell.”

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursed cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet ‘taint being dead—it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: “You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate those last remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows—O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May.”
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
Then I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked;” . . . then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:36 AM   #1553
bolink654
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That's... quiet amazing actually!! Loved it.

However I dont really plan on going very far north, just that, that's what started my interest in it. Now I would like to get to Alaska and Canada someday, but as a vacation, not working and driving a truck and such!

On the other hand, I was born and raised in Chicago, not nearly as warm there, as AR. And I would assume not nearly as cold as Yellowknife and the such.

Once again, that was great!
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:28 PM   #1554
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Hey everyone, I'd been pretty much purposely ignoring this thread for a while, but appreciate the recent posts. Stories about the new job? Yeah, I have some! (Day one, student #1. First words out of his mouth: "You're Squonker aren't you?") Bloody hell! Small world...

I haven't really been keeping notes but believe me, there are instances burned into my brain already and I have to say that it really is a very good feeling when a student passes their test and think that it's all down to me. I might post the odd story...still working at least 6 days a week right now so it isn't going to be a priority.

I hope to have sorted out what I'll be doing for the 2012 winter road season in the next couple of weeks.

Cheers.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:05 AM   #1555
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I thought you would be keeping an eye on your thread; welcome back.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:59 AM   #1556
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Thanks David...sometimes I just need a break from my own shit!

It appears that 2012 is going to be a full season for me, though, so that break won't last for ever....

Cheers.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:12 PM   #1557
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Sweet can't wait for the reports!!
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:48 PM   #1558
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Squonker- I have driven the big rigs for twenty years now, and am creeping up on two million miles...doing more dispatching/managing now than driving.....the stuff you are showing here is absolutely incredible. Thank for your efforts!!!!
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:38 AM   #1559
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All part of the service, NDTransplant!
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:30 AM   #1560
CruisnGrrl
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weird i did not get my emails of notification of new posts.

none the less I came across this article and thought of you.

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/09...in-the-arctic/


Airships Could Prove a Lifeline in the Arctic


Airships may soon soar in the cold skies of northern Canada and Alaska, bringing supplies to remote mining communities where planes can’t always fly and roads are cost-prohibitive.

British airship manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles has announced a major contract with Canada’s Discovery Air Innovations to build airships capable of lifting as much as 50 tons, delivering freight at one-quarter the cost of other alternatives. Though various militaries have expressed interest in airships, this is HAV’s first commercial contract. The first ship is expected by 2014.

While the word “airship” may conjure images of prewar zeppelins and Goodyear advertisements, the aircraft are quite useful for carrying cargo to remote locations, because they have greater payload flexibility than airplanes or trucks. They’re often cheaper to operate, too.

“If you look at the mining operations in the North, the traditional way of opening a mine is to build a road to it. That’s very expensive and time consuming,” said Barry Prentice, a professor of supply chain management at the University of Manitoba. He builds, tests and studies airships.

Prentice estimated the cost of a road to a gold mine in Baker Lake, Nunavut, at $110 million — an amount not easily recovered if the mine shuts down — and said obtaining the permits to build it can take as long as three years.

“The day after your mine is finished, the road has no value whatsoever,” he said. “The idea of being able to use an airship to bring the product back out means you could start your operations sooner, and have the flexibility, if mineral prices turn, to cease operations temporarily.”

Prentice is working on cold-weather testing of smaller airships, the kind that may be able to carry supplies to existing Arctic communities.

“For a mining operation, you need something that’s really muscle-bound,” he said. “But if you’re taking goods into a remote community, that’s actually too big,” he said.

It’s a renaissance for the airship, though today’s craft bear little resemblance to the hydrogen-filled, metal-framed behemoths of the 1920s and ’30s. New ships have rigid envelopes that eliminate the need for a frame, and they are filled with nonflammable helium. Hybrid aircraft can even be heavier than air, taking off like a conventional airplane and landing softly like a hovercraft.

“They’re almost nothing like the ones that have been produced in the past,” Prentice said.

Though modern airships are novel, the technology on board is hardly cutting-edge.

“What we are seeing today could’ve been done any time within the past 25 years,” Prentice said. “The technology has been around that long. The problem has been a lack of business confidence.”

Wary of the unusual technology, few businesses have wanted to take the risk of building hangars and training pilots. The public sector hasn’t stepped up to the plate, either.

“Truck drivers don’t build their own roads, and airlines don’t build airports,” Prentice said. “This is a role where the public should come in — setting up mooring masts, locating zones for the airships to land in.”

According to Prentice, military interest in using airships as unmanned surveillance drones and cargo-lifters has jump-started civilian curiosity. When military users prove airships’ utility in difficult environments, he expects commercial demand to increase.

“Once airships are back in the skies again, there’s going to be quite a stampede of people saying, ‘Me too,’” he said.







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