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Old 09-20-2007, 08:52 AM   #31
HappyGoLucky
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awesome thread dude, it smacks of adventure every day - sounds cool.
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:59 PM   #32
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Answer for KKid

Hi Kootenay,

Brakes can be a problem. Generally speaking you never set your trailer brakes at all, it's just asking for trouble. They're naturally warm from the motion of the wheels, and if there's any ice or snow on them then they're going to freeze as soon as you dynamite them. As you found out in Calgary, they are much more reluctant to break free again! The trick is to make sure your lockers are all engaged when you pull up. If the truck insists on rolling, set the tractor brakes but only for as long as it takes to jump out and chock a wheel. Immediately release the brakes and you should be ok, but just in case, you're all locked up and as long as you pull away slowly you shouldn't do any harm even if a tractor wheel is stuck.
As for trailer brakes, they can freeze up just by virtue of being parked for a long period in high wind. It happened to me once at BHP and I'd only been there for 4 or 5 hours. Even if only one freezes you can usually feel it, but just in case some folks put wheel tabs like these on their trailers.
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It's easy to see in your mirror then that they're all turning. When you first pull away, just snake left to right until you can confirm that everything that should be is turning! Some people do the cheaper, easier and just as effective option of simply spray painting half of each trailer tire flourescent orange.

If a trailer brake freezes, for some reason they seem to be much more receptive to the idea of breaking free in reverse. A good habit to get in to is just to back up a foot or two every time before you pull away. If you do have to resort to the sledgehammer thing, rather than beating the snot out of the rim, just climb underneath and tap the dust cover of the offending brake. Usually a couple of taps and she'll free up. Not nearly as much fun as wailing away with a sledgehammer, but much more effective!

When you're going to drop a trailer, the nice thing to do is wait half an hour before you dynamite the brakes, and that gives them time to cool down. It's a bit of a pain, but not nearly as much as picking up a trailer that someone else didn't let cool, and finding a whole bunch of brakes frozen right up. Good chance to do some paperwork!
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:02 PM   #33
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Still with KKid...

As for preffered make of truck, I think it's all down to personal choice. If it were up to me, I'd throw a sleeper on an old hayes logging truck! There's everything up there, plenty plain jane highway trucks too, and everybody likes or dislikes this or that. I used a Freighshaker FLD 120
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:03 PM   #34
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more makes of truck

a Western Star (unsure what model this is, but the cab was so narrow I had to take the passenger seat out to fit all my crap in there!)
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:05 PM   #35
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And lastly

and a KW T800
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I guess the KW was the nicest all round truck (Cat 435E), but the Freightliner had a big lump (550 Cat). For some reason, though, I liked the Western Star best of all. It had a 435/470 Detroit Series 60 and was just tough as nails. Not sure if I'd want to do a whole season in it 'cos there really wasn't much room in the cab and it only has a small sleeper, but of the three it stands out the most.
The Freightliner was a disaster in strong winds 'cos it just howled right into the cab. I threw a banana onto the floor, and 24 hrs later when I went to eat it, it was frozen solid! Cold feet, man! I just wish the T800 had been a W900B, 'cos that's a beautiful rig.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:36 PM   #36
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I always wondered what the heck those things on the rims were for or what the white or orange stripe was all about. I always disliked the western star because the side windows were so low and I had to crouch down to look out the window. I like the Kenworth myself. Good stuff and would love to try it one day,
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:08 PM   #37
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Here in Alaska, we used to pull the dust covers off so it was easier to get in there and tap the brake shoes sideways when they froze. Of course, as you say, if they are allowed to cool first there isn't generally a problem - unless you've been running through deep, loose snow, or it drifts into a wheel and freezes between the shoe and the drum before the drum cools.

While driving in the South 48 I found some discs that were stamped into a fan pattern that mounted onto the hub under the drums. These were made to blow rain water off the shoes to make the brakes effective more quickly after running in heavy rain for 100 miles or so. I found they also worked to keep snow out of the drums, as I only had one frozen brake (on a trailer - after running through an hour or so of fresh snow) after installing them on a truck in Alaska.

I always liked the "spokes" painted on the tires to see with the wheel check lights, as they caused truckers from the South 48 to scratch their heads and wonder if we weren't just a little strange.
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:35 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcan Rider
Here in Alaska, we used to pull the dust covers off so it was easier to get in there and tap the brake shoes sideways when they froze.

I always liked the "spokes" painted on the tires to see with the wheel check lights, as they caused truckers from the South 48 to scratch their heads and wonder if we weren't just a little strange.
Dust covers. What are those? Up here in the oil patch, it doesn't matter if'n you set the brakes or not, Something is going to freeze up for sure, especially during a blow. I clean my windows with "heat", keep all my arctic gear on even with my primary heater and Cat heater roaring full blast. oh yeah, and I've had coffee freeze in my thermos(sitting on the floor) in less than one shift (12 Hrs). Have you ever had to turn your weed burner on its 20lb propane bottle just to heat it up enough for the propane to gasify? I love my work, really, I do!

Truck of choice: one with a decent heater!

Right now I drive an '06 off-road T800 with a C15 (475hp), 8LL trans, planetary drivers w/full lockers. Now if the cab was just a bit larger for my 6'5" frame. New KW dash is nice though.

To build N. Slope ice roads, we use 325bbl tankers, haul ice chips with 30yd cap. maxi-hauls, and of course, the 16G is out there doing the big moving.
IIRC, we used more than 45 million gallons of water to build the 9 mile ice road and pipeline R.O.W from DS 3H (Kuparuk unit)to Oooguruk island. We get to do it again this year and next and next............. No R.O.W. needed anymore since the pipeline is in and waiting for oil to flow from our lil island.



Didn't mean to hi-jack your thread. I find your pics and stories of Far North Canadian trucking to be very interesting! Keep it up.



edit: here's the official PNR project pictures http://picasaweb.google.com/pnrproject
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:59 AM   #39
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Alcan,

Discs designed to blow snow and water off the drums sounds like a great idea to me, especially having driven through a flooding zone. I like it!
I think that "What is the orange paint on the tires for?" is one of the most common questions asked about this job.

Keep on truckin'! (Can't believe I just said that...)



Vagabond - that's nuts, man! It must be well below zero inside the cab if, with two heaters on, hot coffee will freeze in less than 12 hours. Here in these milder climes, I can drive wearing trainers (as long as I'm not in that damn Freightliner!), and I only need to dress up when I get out having stopped (or when the heater self destructs in the Kenworth!). How cold would it have to be outside for it to be that cold inside?
Also, what would it take for a skinny white boy with no green card to get a job in your neck of the woods? That sounds like fun, man.

Keep on truckin' (Shit, did it again...)
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:12 PM   #40
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Talking Some more pics

Here's one of the flooding crews. These guys work out in the elements the whole season long - much respect. They drill a hole through the ice and just pump the water up onto the road. It freezes, they grade it, and Bob's yer uncle - road patched/ice thickened/whatever you were trying to do. Driving through this stuff is what worries me, the thought of all that water splashing up onto your brakes. They usually slow us down to 10 kmh in flooding zones, but not always.
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:13 PM   #41
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This is Diavik mine
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:14 PM   #42
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and this is BHP
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People disagree on which is the best camp, but IMHO it's BHP, hands down. At diavik they have an atco trailer for the drivers where there are pastries, coffee and a TV, but that's as far as you'll get. If you get snowed in there, to go to the main camp for a proper meal you have to sign forms at dispatch, get a ride with security to the camp, sign in, then do the same in reverse when you're done. But at BHP you can pull up right outside the front doors and just walk in. The food's better there, too!
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:17 PM   #43
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Question Unloading at Diavik/photo question

This is me being unloaded at Diavik. I think that 988 could pick me up and throw the whole rig over its shoulder, no problem!
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Can someone tell me how to use photobucket to bring up my pics? I'm still only allowed one attachment at a time, but if I try a 'direct link' to photobucket, it just gives the url address and doesn't show the photo in the post. Am I being extremely dumb? Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2007, 10:51 AM   #44
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There will be questions afterwards....

A few facts about the road:

First year of operation was 1982
600km long, 87% of it over water
There are 65 portages, 20% of which are sanded or graveled
Three maintenance camps Dome, Lockhart and Lac de Gras
Average number of operational days per year: 67

In 2005 the road opened Jan 26th and closed April 4th. Over the season it was closed for a total of 107 hours (4.5 days), and 7607 loads were taken up it. After the disastrous 2006 season, hundreds (at least) of loads were left stranded all over Yellowknife and the surrounding area when the road closed early. In the 2007 season, all these were moved along with the loads that had already been planned for the year. In all, something like 10,000 loads were hauled this past season.
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:19 AM   #45
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Amazing!
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