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Old 04-06-2009, 01:40 PM   #766
GP640
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My experience with the trucking industry on this side of the border doesn't agree with the media. I worked yard access a few years back and had no problems. My brother-in-law owned a trucking company for a while and hauled in and out of the U.S. with no problems either.
Knowing that the majority of drivers are fundamentally decent people doing a difficult and crucial job is something the media ignores. Kinda like LEOs, everybody hears about the asshats and almost never about the good ones.
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:59 PM   #767
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GP640
I've been following this thread for some time now. It's good to read about the road from an intelligent perspective as opposed to a tv oriented one.

Ice Roads Truckers is being shown for the first time here and I can't believe the stupidity. Watching those jackasses makes my blood boil. There are so many things shown that are just plain wrong never mind illegal. If I'm not mistaken, one jackass even took shots at another truck with a pistol. It looked like a .22 but even with a pellet gun I'd have had that moron off the ice for life.

Few people realise that truck drivers are not all cut from the same dirty sack as those guys.
I remember when being a driver was a respected profession....kids waved and gave the honk signal, there were hit songs about us, people were courteous on the roads, sometimes even the odd flash of female skin on the 4 lane.....the only flashing I get anymore is the ol' one finger salute. sigh....mud in the blood.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:24 PM   #768
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inverted
I remember when being a driver was a respected profession....kids waved and gave the honk signal, there were hit songs about us,
I remember those!









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Old 04-07-2009, 01:33 PM   #769
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Yea me too!

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Originally Posted by timk519
I remember those!
They reached our side of the pond and were very popular back then. Cheers.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:17 PM   #770
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl
Hey Ben, I went thrifting all day but no luck finding the "Cola Cowboys". Then I get home to find a new trip report!!! Thanks!!
Jenna, I'm trying to work something out for you re: Cola Cowboys. Bear with me here...in the meantime suggest you pick up a copy of 'Dennison's Ice Road'.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tommo2
Salted or buttered?


Quote:
Originally Posted by GP640
I've been following this thread for some time now. It's good to read about the road from an intelligent perspective as opposed to a tv oriented one.

Ice Roads Truckers is being shown for the first time here and I can't believe the stupidity. Watching those jackasses makes my blood boil. There are so many things shown that are just plain wrong never mind illegal. If I'm not mistaken, one jackass even took shots at another truck with a pistol. It looked like a .22 but even with a pellet gun I'd have had that moron off the ice for life.

Few people realise that truck drivers are not all cut from the same dirty sack as those guys.
You got it, alright - and that's why they weren't allowed to film the second season on the same road. Re: the pistol - what it didn't tell you on the TV is that the two trucks were half a kilometer apart, as are all trucks in a convoy. If I remember correctly, Hugh was just saying "No way, Jose" to Rick who was behind him and threatening to pass him. But the fact still remains that it was pretty idiotic to have even a toy gun (if that's what it was) with him (what the hell was he using it for, I wonder?) and I've had it confirmed now that Hugh (and Rick) have indeed been banned for life.

I've chatted with other drivers about the way some of us treat eachother and dispatchers or managers. You just have to remember that there are some truck drivers who do so because they simply are not capable of being anything else - they have to be truck drivers. While I wouldn't say that Hugh or Rick fit into that category neccessarily, they sure don't help the public perception. I don't know how many of us on that road have degrees, but there is at least one. And it's not me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommo2
At the extreme end of this there is alleged sociopathology as reported by the LA Times recently when they discovered that a unit of the FBI is investigating thousands of murders they suspect have been perpetrated by truckers upon prostitutes. And, some people believe this is a world-wide phenomenon.

This outlawry emphasis is a concern I had about the IceRoadTruckers show. As indicated in the above example, albeit an extreme one, there are some very serious issues of criminal behavior in and around the trucking industry. And, this is nothing new. Many of us have had to police this situation as much as possible by promoting good, safe decision making by members of our trucking community both on the highway and off. I applaud and enjoy this thread by Squonker on ADV. It's a pleasure to read.
Well, thanks for the compliments firstly. Secondly, it's a shame the way the producers chose to show the job, of course. But I wonder how they picked their 'stars'? I'm betting that they approached Tli-Cho and asked for the names of some suitable people, some 'characters' perhaps - and I bet that Tli-Cho are kicking themselves.

As for the murdering of prostitutes, google the name 'Peter Sutcliffe', and there was a similar case in Australia not that many years ago. There does seem to be some sort of a theme, for sure. On the lighter side, you might want to check out Jeremy Clarkson's comment on that very subject on Top Gear a few months ago. I think it was the episode when all three of them went and bought a used truck, customized it, then had to complete various trials in their own trucks. Very, very funny - one of the best episodes I've ever seen.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GP640
Kinda like LEOs, everybody hears about the asshats and almost never about the good ones.
10-4 on that. I have a very hard time respecting the RCMP right now with some of the stunts their members have pulled over the recent past, which are all over the news. Yet any cops I've ever met either professionally or socially have all been great guys and gals. I have to remind myself of that sometimes....


Quote:
Originally Posted by inverted
I remember when being a driver was a respected profession....kids waved and gave the honk signal, there were hit songs about us, people were courteous on the roads, sometimes even the odd flash of female skin on the 4 lane.....the only flashing I get anymore is the ol' one finger salute. sigh....mud in the blood.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gefr
They reached our side of the pond and were very popular back then. Cheers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by timk519
I remember those!
'Knights of the road'...that's what they used to be called in England when I was gowing up.

Really glad to see that this thread has prompted some intelligent discussion. (Was going to make a joke at the expense of anyone who had posted here previously, but have decided not to!!!! )
I hope it continues.

Cheers, y'all, and thanks.





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Old 04-07-2009, 06:01 PM   #771
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Hey Ben, I'm hoping I can profit finacially from my finds!!! After I saw the price, I couldn't help myself. Reading "A thousand miles" right now. It sucks being and american and reading an englishman's book. I don't get most of the humor and I know I'm missing out.

I was one of those kids that pumped my arm everytime I saw a train or a semi, and I always got a honk. Man, those were the days. I still respect drivers, especially living in Atlanta, seeing some of the shit they are able to do in this packed city is remarkable!!
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:12 AM   #772
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonker
You got it, alright - and that's why they weren't allowed to film the second season on the same road. Re: the pistol - what it didn't tell you on the TV is that the two trucks were half a kilometer apart, as are all trucks in a convoy. If I remember correctly, Hugh was just saying "No way, Jose" to Rick who was behind him and threatening to pass him. But the fact still remains that it was pretty idiotic to have even a toy gun (if that's what it was) with him (what the hell was he using it for, I wonder?) and I've had it confirmed now that Hugh (and Rick) have indeed been banned for life.

If I recall it was a Smith & Wesson 22A. Used to have one. If he was trying to say it was a toy, he's a bigger asshat that I thought
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:14 PM   #773
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Quote:
Originally Posted by river_rat
If I recall it was a Smith & Wesson 22A. Used to have one. If he was trying to say it was a toy, he's a bigger asshat that I thought
I don't know if he said what it was. I was just saying that even if he said it was a toy....

From talking to people that know him, he sounds like quite the character....
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:16 PM   #774
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl
Hey Ben, I'm hoping I can profit finacially from my finds!!! After I saw the price, I couldn't help myself. Reading "A thousand miles" right now. It sucks being and american and reading an englishman's book. I don't get most of the humor and I know I'm missing out.

I was one of those kids that pumped my arm everytime I saw a train or a semi, and I always got a honk. Man, those were the days. I still respect drivers, especially living in Atlanta, seeing some of the shit they are able to do in this packed city is remarkable!!
Jenna, what did you find and how much did it set you back? Inquiring minds want to know....IIRC the humour in 'A Thousand Miles' is quite subtle so you may well be missing out. Would you like me to translate it for you??!!

Did your package arrive yet?

Whenever I see a kid pumping his arm I'm always reduced to fits of giggles 'cos it I can't help but think of the Simpsons episode when Homer is driving a tractor trailer with Bart in the passanger seat and some kids do that to him. Did you guys (and girls) know the one I'm talking about?
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:11 PM   #775
inverted
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonker
Jenna, what did you find and how much did it set you back? Inquiring minds want to know....IIRC the humour in 'A Thousand Miles' is quite subtle so you may well be missing out. Would you like me to translate it for you??!!

Did your package arrive yet?

Whenever I see a kid pumping his arm I'm always reduced to fits of giggles 'cos it I can't help but think of the Simpsons episode when Homer is driving a tractor trailer with Bart in the passanger seat and some kids do that to him. Did you guys (and girls) know the one I'm talking about?
lol...Maximum Homerdrive. Red dies after eating the big steak, Homer drives the truck in honor of Red....awesome.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:22 PM   #776
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lol...Maximum Homerdrive. Red dies after eating the big steak, Homer drives the truck in honor of Red....awesome.
http://www.wtso.net/movie/113-The

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Old 04-08-2009, 07:40 PM   #777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonker
J

Did your package arrive yet?

Whenever I see a kid pumping his arm I'm always reduced to fits of giggles 'cos it I can't help but think of the Simpsons episode when Homer is driving a tractor trailer with Bart in the passanger seat and some kids do that to him. Did you guys (and girls) know the one I'm talking about?

One of my favorite episodes!!!
Got home from work today to find my mailbox completly busted and the post split straight down the center!! My mail, which consisted of MCN, bills, and the new dennis kirk, was all over my driveway and lawn. Fucking ghetto...But my package from the great white north survived and was waiting for me in the gnarled up mailbox...I'm going to sweat all over it and break it in proper starting tomorrow. Thanks Ben!!! My friends are gonna be soooo jealous.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:00 AM   #778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl
One of my favorite episodes!!!
Got home from work today to find my mailbox completly busted and the post split straight down the center!! My mail, which consisted of MCN, bills, and the new dennis kirk, was all over my driveway and lawn. Fucking ghetto...But my package from the great white north survived and was waiting for me in the gnarled up mailbox...I'm going to sweat all over it and break it in proper starting tomorrow. Thanks Ben!!! My friends are gonna be soooo jealous.
Sorry to hear about the self-destructing mailbox, but glad that your loot made it there safely. Not too sure about the colours on that thing myself, but maybe you'll like 'em.




Quote:
Originally Posted by inverted
Thanks! I watched that last night, hadn't seen it in years and didn't remember 99% of it. Great! "And to drink....the meatballs"!
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:44 PM   #779
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Trip #7



I have to apologise for today's pictures, which seem to me to be particularly unimpressive.

It's now Sun 15th Feb. Kevin on dispatch last night when I'd got in had told me to call Tom on the day shift in the morning, so I was up at 5.30am and called in half an hour later. Tom told me that there wouldn't be any loads before noon so I met Pierre (my boss from Eureka, who was in town that night to catch a flight north) for a coffee then went to the shop to get my truck out. As I was driving back through town shortly after 9am (still in my car at this time as opposed to the truck), I saw Simon's truck sitting in Tli Cho's yard, hooked up to a trailer, load strapped down, ready to leave. Wtf? He'd only been an hour ahead of me the previous night so how come he was already in the line up to go north (which means he'd have already been given a t-time), and I was being told that there'd be nothing until lunchtime?

The whole issue of 'the list' comes up again - pretty sure I've mentioned it before, and how there are always drivers complaining that people behind them on the list are going out ahead. I don't think I've ever been much affected by that before, but it sure looked like something was going on now. I'd like to have gone into dispatch and asked Tom outright what was going on but that would have been the worst thing to do as you basically have to suck ass 24/7 with your dispatchers. They have the power to make your life hell, and I've no doubt that this season they wouldn't have thought twice about doing so. We were all on tenderhooks regarding our jobs anyway, because with the reduced number of loads we were pretty sure they'd be looking for excuses to cut back on trucks, too. Anyway, I kinda respect Tom and wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt if I could.





Instead I went into the drivers' trailer and asked Simon how come he'd got the load. I felt a bit foolish, actually, because although I was trying to appear casual I was angry (although not at him) and it probably showed. He just said that he'd called in that morning and Tom had told him to hook up to that load. There was another driver in there who thought that he'd been dicked around the day before, and later in the day I spoke to two more of Carl's drivers who said that they had most definitely been jumped on the list recently. I hadn't been jumped as such, but there sure was a big difference as a result of coming in one hour behind the guy in front. I wondered whether, rather than parking at Carl's yard and taking my car home then calling in in the morning, I'd be better off from now on sleeping in my truck in Tli-Cho's yard and going in in person in the morning. Seems a shame when I have my own bed a few minutes drive away, but perhaps that's what it would take.

I pulled into the yard in my truck at 10.45am and went in to tell Tom I was there. Half an hour later he told me to hook up to a load that had just pulled into the yard having arrived from Edmonton. It was a pair of huge tracks for a massive dozer - kinda cool, but a bitch to tie down (there was other stuff on there as well). Ideally in this situation I'd say to the driver who had bought it in, "You have three staps and 6 chains on this load - rather than undoing them all and putting them all away, then me having to tie the whole load down from scratch again, I'll just give you that many chains and straps and we'll both save a whole bunch of time." But he thought his gear was that much better than mine that he didn't want to swap, and we had to do it the long way.

Shoot, I haven't even left town yet.





I eventually left town at 2pm and had a great run to Lockhart, arriving at 10pm. I was traveling with two frenchies and an old timer called Don who has been driving this road on and off for almost 30 years! He said he had to take up the rear 'cos he only had 330hp which I thought was a little odd, but whatever. The journey was so good because the guys simply did exactly what they were supposed to do. Every time I came off a portage and hit a 1/2km marker, the first frenchie would be coming off the portage - perfect spacing. There was no bitching from the ranks, and any time I gave them info or instructions they just replied in the affirmative and did the right thing. Fantastic.
On the radio during the trip I spoke to a friend coming the other way and told him about the episode that morning with having to wait for a load, and he made a good point. Perhaps the load that Simon was told to hook up to had arrived over night, and his being first on the list had ensured he was the one to hook up to it. I was second on the list, and perhaps the load I got was the next one in - simple as that. That does make sense and might reflect more on my negative attitude since the "You're all getting only 15 trips" speech a day or two previously rather than any tomfoolery (if you'll excuse the pun!) in the dispatch office.





I planned to sleep at Lockhart for 5 hours, prefering to sleep at night and drive during the day, and also having a bad attitude, and the two frenchies had to stop for the legally required 8 hours so I arranged to leave with Don at 5am. As it happens, at that time so many people were leaving that dispatch told us we had to join a list and wait half an hour. I was thinking that I should have known better and suggested that we'd leave at 4am instead, but it was too late now. No big deal.

This trip I was lucky enough to be going to BHP, every driver's dream come true! What with the shitty treatment at Diavik and Snap Lake, not to mention the complete lack of any organisational skills at those two mines, BHP is the complete opposite. You want an example? At Diavik, if you want to go to the main camp to eat you have to: go to the dispatch trailer and ask permisson, fill out security forms, wait for a marshall to drive you there in a pick-up, and once you're there go through another security check before you can eat. At BHP you park your truck literally outside the front door and walk in. Without asking permission from anyone, you have complete access to the kitchen, the gym, a running track, laundry, TV, internet, a sauna and a 'gentleman's club' . Pretty sweet, and I was very much looking forward to going there for the first time this season.

Don turned off at Diavik and I went into BHP alone. I arrived at 13.35 and having gone into the 'Sprung' (the dispatch trailer) to hand in my paperwork, by the time I came out of the washroom the loader operator who would be unloading me was there, in his loader, waiting for me at my truck. talk about efficient - and the guy in the dispatch trailer had offered me a coffee! I almost fainted. I know I took some photos that day, hold on while I find them and upload them, will ya?

My load








I wonder whether this is the processing plant?


A very quick unload indeed, and I went back to the main camp to go in for a lunch bag. As I walked out of the camp, two prill haulers asked if I'd lead them back south so after a return visit to the Sprung to collect my paperwork, (and a few tense moments when they went to check whether or not there was a backhaul for me), the three of us headed south.

My truck began to overheat on the return trip, which was a little odd as not only was I empty, but it was -20c. I thought, "Oh well" and opened the winter front a little more, but that only served to make the rig alternate between running too cold in the hammer lanes and too hot everywhere else. Clearly there was a problem. I closed the winter front back up and manually turned the engine fan on when I needed to until I got to Lockhart where I could check things over properly, albeit in the dark. I arrived there at 7.40pm and found that I was about 4 gallons short on coolant. Oops. I had checked the truck over the previous day while it had been in Carl's shop, and a quick search found a leak.





I had two gallons of coolant with me, but once again the Nuna guys in the shop at Lockhart saved my bacon by giving me two more. I did disagree with the mechanic there, though. I was going to put in plain water as the last two gallons, but he insisted it needed to be coolant. He said that with the windchill that water would be experiencing -40c and would freeze. But...in my opinion that wouldn't actually be the case because that water wouldn't be at 0c to begin with. Engine coolant is at above 80c when it is at operating temperature so it wouldn't come anywhere near close to freezing, but I do understand how he was thinking. Maybe you agree with him, but your honour I refer to the previous case of 'Squonker working for Carl's Dad in the few weeks prior to the ice roads opening'. In this case, Squonker was driving a 1980s vintage truck with a serious coolant leak, which only leaked when the engine was cold. Because the truck was parked in the shop every night, each morning we would simply fill the rad with tap water and send it out into the Arctic winter. It survived, and still does. Your witness.

Anyway, that problem solved I dipped my tanks (fuel guage didn't work, only had small tanks and BHP is a long trip), then headed back with two other Tli-Cho drivers called Lee and Barry. I knew Lee a little as he also lives in YK. Both those two were dog tired, Lee especially, and he had to stop at the Meadows to get his head down. Barry and I arrived back in town at 3.30am, dropped off our trailers and handed in our paperwork. I asked Kevin in dispatch how many trucks were ahead of me on the list. He said 19. Shit, could be a long wait until my next load....





Can I get you a coffee?!
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:08 PM   #780
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Awesome write up, I can see why you would be concerned about not getting your fair share of trips. Sounds like some of the "rules" have weeded out some of the hot heads.
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