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Old 10-02-2007, 10:54 PM   #75
squonker OP
Eat my shorts
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Yellowknife, NWT
Oddometer: 4,058
Thanks Ducky! I'll keep the thread going until no-one is interested anymore or I run out of photos - which ever comes first!

Alrighty, I said that I had taken a pic of the inside of the cab of that Pooper Scooper, and here it is.

I also remembered its real name - it's either a Scoop Trans or a Scoop Tram. I do think my name is better, though, and why Atlas Copco shouldn't pay me millions to come up with other brilliant names for their equipment is beyond me. If you're the GM of Atlas Copco, PM me. We'll talk.

Here's the lower parking lot at Lockhart camp. No trains allowed in the upper lot as there often isn't much room there (but you can't see that until it's too late). If you're lucky you'll hear a friend of yours on the radio in the upper lot and you can ask him what the scoop is, but most times just make sure you have enough momentum to get up the hill, and then worry about how and where you're going to park!

The hill to the upper lot and the buildings is on the right, (just out of frame).

The main camp at Lockhart. Kitchen/dining room, showers, washrooms, laundry, tv room and dispatch.

They also have a shop (or two) there as many Nuna employees are based there (Nuna Logistics build and maintain the road)....

They don't encourage it, but if you're in a real bind you can beg, borrow or steal a gallon of antifreeze or a drip mat if you have a problem of that sort. Only stuff that really prevents you from being stuck there indefinitely. You can buy fuel here, though, but as at the mines, it ain't cheap.
One night I was hauling an overlength/overwidth something-or-other up to Snap Lake. It looked like an Atco trailer, but it had plumbing or electrical equipment or something in it. Could it have been a 'Utilidor'? That sounds like a cigar. Anyway, somewhere in it all this weight was concentrated in just the right place that the thing didn't want to stay on my trailer. I'd stop and tighten all the straps but it was slowly sliding off to the left. I stopped so many times that I ended up telling the convoy I was with just to go ahead, and joined the one after it. And then the one after that. It got to the stage where I was within an hour or so of Lockhart, but every bump I went over I thought I was going to lose the load. I started hitting snow ridges on the portages in such a way that the left hand side of the trailer would lift up, hoping that it would slide back on. Slowing down more and more, I eventually limped into the lower lot. It was dark and late by this time, and I went inside to eat and think about what I was going to do. The road into Snap Lake is stupidly hilly - to the point that it's borderline dangerous actually, but they refuse to sand it - so there was no way I was going to make it all the way in. The first two or three portages there, the only way to get over them is momentum. You're flying over these things, truck sliding one way, trailer sliding the other, praying to Dog you'll stay on the road, unable to back off the gas because of the next hill. (One day an outfit from down south was bringing a crane in on a low bed. It bottomed out on number 2 (portage #2), and the trailer promptly fell apart. The road was closed for hours.) Many people have stories to tell about the road into Snap Lake. There's a reason there's a dozer parked there permanently, always running, 30 mins drive from the mine site itself, all season long. Kinda fun if you're in the right mood, downright scary if you're in the wrong one.
Anyway, I digress. So I'm at Lockhart drinking my medicinal tea ('cos that cures everything - even trucking problems!) - feeling like an asshat for having continued going when I was so close to losing my load, but knowing that I'd be an asshat when I actually did lose it on the road to come. Ignoring the 'Keep Out' signs I went into one of the shops and found a guy working on a grader. I asked him whether he'd grab the loader and push my Utilidor back on for me. Of course I had to get up the hill between the parking lots first, and that was a little scary to say the least. But I made it, undid my straps, and when he'd centred the thing for me I re-strapped the load, properly this time. Not sure where I was when I began typing this story, but that's the kind of thing that the guys in the shop at Lockhart do - save my bacon.

This is a Hagland (or is it Haglund?) tracked people/equipment transporter. It sat on the side of the road all season, never moved.

And finally for today, a 'Hammer Lane' sign. On the longest lakes, particularly on the northern end of the road, they have these hammer lanes for empty trucks. Reduces the load on the loaded lane a little, and best of all gives you the chance to pick up a tooth or two and you think you're just flying all of 60 km/h! There are sometimes some sharp-ish corners on these hammer lanes, though, and you can find yourself going through them sideways. It's good to have some fun, but if you're a little too tired...the snowbank has the scars to prove it!

I'll go look for the pics of other abnormal loads I mentioned earlier.

Ride Report: Canada North to South 2008 here
Drive Report: Ice Road Trucking 2005-2014 here

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