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Ice road trucking e-book preview 5 takes a look the biggest issue facing drivers in northern Canada. The cold weather is your worst enemy for the equipment and yourself.
Once the temperatures dip below -30 you can almost expect things to happen. On one particular occasion I lost my defroster motor. It was the worst trip I had in the 2 month season.
“I like the cold weather, it means you get work done.”
̴ Noam Chomsky
Maintaining as much engine heat as possible is done by closing in the winter front (rad covers), and by using belly tarps underneath the motor. The belly tarps actually serve two purposes. Aside from keeping heat in, they also help prevent oil and other fluids from landing on the ground or ice and becoming an environmental issue.
There were a number of trucks making last minute preparations in the yard. There was also some improvising taking place with cardboard being secured to a few truck grills. I heard a few complaints about the cold weather from a few of the first time northern drivers. This made me wonder if they’d make it through the season considering it wasn’t much colder than -25 yet.
Wind chills can easily (and quite frequently do) exceed -50 or more on the frozen tundra. How were these drivers going to handle working outside in these conditions when many of them lacked the proper winter work gear?
I’ve had frozen body parts on a few occasions and your skin is never the same after that. It only takes a few minutes to freeze exposed skin in extreme temperatures, and we’re sometimes required to work outside for long periods of time. The only positive thing about working in the extreme cold is how productive you become. A job that typically takes 30 minutes could be scaled down to eight minutes.
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