Originally Posted by Hardware02
Stupid question time...
From watching Ice Road Truckers and from this thread, I get the sense that break downs are more common than down south.
How much of this is due to the extreme conditions and how much because companies are running old, worn out rigs?
Also...many of the trucks seem to be standard highway tractors. Wouldn't it make sense to invest in new(er) extreme duty trucks, say with power also going to the front axle and also invest in figuring out a way to effectively winterize them?
Wouldn't that mean more money in the long run because they can run more consistently during drops in the temp and also degraded conditions?
Not a stupid question. The JVWRTC is open 30-45 days/year ... so as stated, dedicated trucks specially mod'ed for this are somewhat prohibitive.
It is the EXTREME cold and operating conditions (rough, everchanging) that causes the breakdowns. As posted previously, unless in for service, you start em up and keep em running essentially the whole time. Environmental shock (temps, bumps etc) stacks and magnifies, plus the remoteness.
I do not think that it is a matter of OLD 'broken down' trucks, so much, as it costs money to be DOWN and repair stuff, lost loads etc. OLDER proven trucks without a lot of fancy crap that breaks and is hard to fix are generally preferred, stuff that you can swing-a-wrench at and fix in the field, rather than wait for 14 days for a new computer part or an MIT-grad to diagnose.
Also as stated, a properly maintained and winterized truck should run ok, notwithstanding that all trucks are BUILT to breakdown -- anything man can build can be broken by drivers! ;-)