Yellowknife ice trucking

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by squonker, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    Anybody ever try to make a hollow plow blade that could have hot air blown through it to keep the steel from getting too cold? It'd need to be enough below freezing to not have snow and ice stick to it, but warm enough to not be brittle. Maybe -10C would work.
  2. gsd4me

    gsd4me 90% bluff

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    Please explain?...... :dunno
  3. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Last week I had a run out of Alexandria, 3 hours east of me. 0600 Thursday tee time, finish Friday aft.

    Forecast for Wed nite there was -50 windchill. Old Freight that was a spare truck, didn't run much.

    Go up early Thurs like they wanted? Yeah, right. Done a lot of time in the Artic, so I went up after supper Wed eve.

    Truck rolled over 4 times, click, click, click... call in a mobile, get it fired with some juice, lots of conditioner in the tanks. 3 hours to get it running, brakes unfroze, an hour to pound the ice off the fifth wheel and get it working, pinned, trailer unfroze...you know the drill. I was one cold puppy when I bunked up.

    Go to leave 6 hours later, and it won't do over 50k. On a down hill. Lines still froze. Limp it 90 minutes to Cornwall (a 48 km run), and all the shops are booked, solid. "Maybe next week..." was heard a lot. Let the company push the buttons, they got it into a shop, lost 8 hours on the day. Things did not get much better from there.


    I don't miss artic ops.

    Not a bit.
  4. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Nothing about what you said, David - I originally wrote a comment on the old 'fuel haulers Vs freight haulers' thing but deleted it and wrote what you quoted instead :D
  5. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Bloody hell! Good on you for going in early, you got grief but a lot less grief than you would have had if you had turned up when they told you to. Did you have the opportunity to speak to your boss and say,"Wtf"?
  6. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Since I retired, I temp for an agency. So that means the old and busted trucks, the runs they can't get their own guys to do, or they're short.

    Or in this case: All three. :D

    My boss at the agency knows my background, didn't argue me going up early. The ops guy from CCS that was running things, was iffy on the idea. "Had my guys fuel it up two days ago, ran fine" kind of stuff.He didn't mention, or perhaps didn't know, that the truck had to be boosted in -10 temps.

    So, things went as I pretty much expected. You've done time up north, under these circumstances, you know what's gonna happen.

    During all this, both were in the loop. And when I pulled 12 deliveries and 1000 kms on the Friday, the ops guy knew I'd saved him a whole bunch of hassle with the customer.

    I'm in the agency yesterday, and it's been a slow month. 2 shifts. Well, it doesn't rain when it can pour.

    I'm booked the next two weeks to cover a broker. He's picky, and in the agency you have three classes of driver: new guys out of the school, bottom feeders that can't keep a job anywhere else, and oddballs, retirees mostly, like me. So there's a lot of thuds in the place.

    CCS calls, wants me next week for a multi-day. Another customer calls an hour later, asks for me too.

    Now let's be clear here: I am nobody's gift to this shit. Drive the truck, be nice to the customer, give them their shit, get a signature, repeat until truck empty, go back to the yard. This is pretty simple stuff. I deliver cardboard boxes. There's no one's life depending on this stuff. No stress.

    I gotta wonder at who else they're sending out from the agency before or after me. They're making me look like a god. That's pretty scary.


    So the agency is all set to send me off to CCS, but the broker booked me 3 months ago. He's a nice guy, okay truck, handle all the freight, but it's good exercise. So I caught wind of this, went in, told them no to CCS. They're... not used to hearing that. :lol3 But they have no carrot and stick with me, I don't need the money to live, it's to pay for vacations. And they haven't exactly been busting their ass to keep me employed. So, no....

    It's nice to be wanted, but be damned if I'm gonna put up with a lot of shit. Or see a guy get shafted because someone wants to kiss some corporate ass.



    I don't have to.

    I gotta admit, being able to do so feels pretty damn good.
  7. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Nice position to be in. My first truck driving job was agency work in England. It was a great way to get a wide variety of experience, every day was a different truck, different trailer, different product being delivered to different parts of the country. There was often no-one there to give advice or tell/show me what to do, and when I think back to some of the mistakes I made...:eek1

    I got to drive some shiny new trucks and, as you mention, the ones that no-one else would touch, too. The bosses varied just about as much, also. I don't have time to type my favourite story right now...

    I remember, though, that the common complaint from young kids like myself trying to get into the industry was (and probably still is) that everyone wanted experience before they hired you as a driver, yet if no-one would give you a job then how were you supposed to get the experience? Most agencies required a couple of years worth of experience before they'd sign you up but there was one in Worthing on the south coast that I heard about and they started giving me work. They were sheisters really, but on one job I met a great bloke who ran his own small agency and he signed me up, kept me busy pretty much full time as I remember, and paid me more too. Nick and I are still in touch today, he still runs the agency and once every five years or so when I'm over in the U.K. I'll ring him and we'll go for lunch.

    Cheers.
  8. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    If I needed the money, I could just take a real job, got enough offers from my old life. Amazes me at the kind of money they were offering just to start. To my way of thinking, obscene amounts of money. :eek1

    Only problem is: They'd expect me to like...show up every day. :D

    I took 18 weeks off last year, plus some other odd days. I get to watch my boy grow up. Go riding, visit friends. Do family stuff. Maybe I'll reach the point that I'll jump in for a couple of years, knock off the mortgage, and call it done. I dunno.

    I call what I'm doing brain-dead-monkey work. As in: you could get a ... to do this. Zero job satisfaction. For most of my working life I had a job that made a difference, now... I deliver cardboard boxes. But that's the choice I made. And I don't regret the time the boy and I get to beat on each other. Or go riding together. Or the time with my wife. Spent a lot of time away before, nice to be able take care of her for a change.

    It was nice to dredge up some hard earned skills last week, and put them to use.
  9. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Good on ya' Drif, I'm happy for you and the way it all worked out. If you ever get to this part of the country, let me know. I'd enjoy trading trucking and Ellesmere Island stories with you over a pint. Or a pint and a half....
  10. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Deal. Same if you make it east.
  11. ChazCable

    ChazCable Mechanic

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    Ice road open yet Unique?
  12. Unique458

    Unique458 Been here awhile

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    Yes it is we just rolled into town yesterday and oh we hear that the road is up to about 8090% capacity already I guess there's a lot of ice this year.
    I'm hoping to get out on the ice this afternoon maybe around supper time Yellowknife time
  13. gsd4me

    gsd4me 90% bluff

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    Any pics you can sneak through will be appreciated. :lurk
  14. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle Gear Grinder

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    Have a safe trip, Unique. We'll be looking for pics :deal


    Squonker thanks again for starting this thread, lo these years ago, it has been a lot of fun to watch.
  15. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Ya know, when I couldn't find the right truck for the right money and realized that I wasn't going to be able to drive for myself this season I was offered a few driving gigs up there for other people. I turned them down, but now regret that decision. I'm so jealous of you, Unique! Thanks for keeping the thread going in my absence - I like to think that next year I'll be back whether I'm in my own truck or not, but for now I'm living vicariously through you! :clap
  16. Unique458

    Unique458 Been here awhile

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    Boy oh boy , one trip and the stories I have already. I love it out here, I like hauling the fuel , easy on easy off, it's a bit of a learning curve for me as I've never done it before but good.
    It's damn cold up here -40 and nothing really wants to work at these temps.
    Gotta go to bed trip 2 early morning.
  17. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Excellent! :clap Glad that you like it, I look forward to hearing your stories (and your impressions of Diavik!!)

    Keep on truckin'!!
  18. tmk

    tmk Adventurer

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    Squonker ....Sorry to hear that you are not on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto this season . Unique 458, Would you be driving for Ron Hamilton by chance ? Good luck , and enjoy your season up there . Thanks for keeping us posted and look forward to your future posts .
  19. gsd4me

    gsd4me 90% bluff

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    Pics, we need pics.
  20. ChazCable

    ChazCable Mechanic

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    sories, we also need stories