Archive for 2009

The Dreaded Trans Canada Highway

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

After unloading the rebar under the Port Mann bridge for the new bridge, I headed to Delta to load some huge tires (see pic) to deliver to Red Deer.  This of course means that I had to travel the “highway of death” as it is known.  The trans canada highway between Kamloops and Golden is the worst stretch of highway in western canada with the exception of the Fort MacMurray highway maybe.  This is because it is narrow and winds through the mountains.  The maintenance on this highway during the winter months is poor for some reason.   All drivers seem to speed also which doesn’t help much.  Things were going pretty good for a while even though the road was icy in some spots traffic seemed to be driving cautiously.  Another rig with a load of tires was a few kilometers in front of me and we were talking every now and then on the radio about the road conditions etc.  Then the other driver was involved in an accident on the corners next to Summit Lake.  It seems that a mini van lost control on a corner and bounced off the cement no post then veered into on coming traffic hitting a SUV head on and then bouncing off of the rig hauling the tires.  The rig driver tried to ditch his rig to avoid the mini van but it hit him in the fuel tank rupturing it and then coming to a stop a few feet away.  The rig ended up in the snow bank (see pic) off the road and there were three seriously injured people in the two vehicles.  I got stopped about half a km away but could see the mayhem and listened to the other rig drivers who witnessed the whole thing describe how the accident occurred.  Two hours later I was able to resume my trip to Red Deer.  The driver of the rig was okay but couldn’t get his truck pulled out because of the ruptured fuel tank (environmental issues) until morning, so he was going home.  I wished him a Merry Christmas before heading on my way.  I kept thinking that if I had left before him that could have been me involved in the crash.  Not his fault in any way but just bad luck I suppose.  I must have counted 5-10 vehicles in the ditch between Kamloops and Golden because of icy road conditions.  Oh by the way, the sand trucks showed up while they were cleaning up the accident (figures).  Delivered the load in Red Deer and drove to Edmonton to load a John Deere excavator for the return trip home only this time I’m going down Highway 5.  Get to spend Christmas with my sister and nephews in Red Deer though.  Bye for now.

Truck Accident next to Summit Lake

Big Tires for Finning Equipment

Just Sitting Here Watching the Wheels Go Round and Round

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

After leaving Dawson Creek, last week I picked up a load of lumber from MacKenzie and delivered it in the pouring rain to North Vancouver.  From there I went to the port and loaded up some 50′ steel pipe with an outside diameter of 48 inches and delivered it to Nisku, Alberta.  I had to take the canyon as the Coqihalla was closed and the roads through the canyon were a little slick also.  At least the temps warmed up to where I could shut my truck off at  night to conserve fuel.  From Nisku I drove to Fort Saskatchewan to load some rebar to deliver to the Port Mann bridge project in Surrey, BC.  I am currently sitting in Kamloops waiting for my log book to reset so I can drive the rest of the way.  Bye for now.

Damn it’s cold…

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Delivered the container this morning and had to use two pickers as one couldn’t lift it. See the pics below.  I also added another pic of Mt. Robson, sorry I just can’t resist shooting that rock when the sun hits it just right.  On my way to Dawson Creek, BC I almost hit two moose who thought they’d drag race me in the ditch and then decided to try the other side at which time I had slowed down to about 30 km so I was able to stop.  Too fast to take a pic however.  Right now I’m sitting in Dawson Creek waiting to get loaded tomorrow and the temp is minus 41 degrees celcius.  When I first arrived and went to fuel up I turned too sharp and severed my air line to the trailer.  My hands almost froze off when I made the repairs.  I think I’ll be buying the softer rubber lines instead of the hard plastic I have now when I get back to the land of the living. Bye for now.

 View of Mount Robson bathed in sunset light.

Unloading container in Wabasca, Alberta

Back into the Abyss

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

After sitting in Fort McMurray for 36 hours I drove to Edmonton and picked up a load of 60′ rebar to deliver to Surrey, BC.  After delivery on Thursday I loaded up a 40′ container on Friday for Monday delivery.  I left this morning and I am now sitting in Whitecourt Alberta where it is minus 32 degrees celcius.  Drove my 13 hours so I have to wait until morning to drive the rest of the way to Wabasca which is another 3 or 4 hours north east.  I almost smoked a few big horn sheep in Jasper Park that were licking the salt off the middle of the road and I didn’t see them until the last minute.  Of course they’re so dumb they just stood there and looked at me sliding towards them.  I managed to drive through a hole in the herd without hitting any of them.  Good thing too because if you get caught hitting one of them you are liable for the replacement cost of the sheep.  I hear it’s very expensive.  Good thing I was only doing the speed limit other wise I may be fixing my truck and purchasing a sheep…Yikes… Talk to you later.

Still Freezing in Fort McMurray

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Well I’m still sitting in Fort McMurray, Alberta waiting to get loaded.  It seems that because of the cold weather no one can get the machines started that are needed to load the crushed cars onto my step deck trailer.  Minus 28 degrees celcius this morning and minus 21 right now.  Have to leave the truck running and I shudder to think of my fuel bill by the time this one is said and done.  Might have to go to Edmonton to load in the morning, we’ll see.  Bye for now.

Brrrr Cold In Fort McMoney

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Right now as I speak it is minus 23 in Fort McMurray, Alberta.  I arrived today for tomorrow delivery of some steel tire rims for the big ore trucks.  The drive up from Grassland was good and the traffic was excellent.  I am assuming everyone was either in Edmonton already or it was too cold to venture out.  Anyone who has travelled hwy 63 knows that it is a dangerous drive as the average speed limit for most four wheelers is about 137 km per hour.  The posted speed is 110.  I always do 100 km to save fuel so usually I see some strange things indeed.  Below are some photos of my load tarped and after I removed the tarps.  Bye for now.

Tarped load of steel rims for big ore trucks in Fort McMurray Alberta

Load of steel rims for big ore trucks in Fort McMurray Alberta

Snow, Snow, Snow….

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Almost forgot what it is like to drive in white out conditions.  Sitting in Grassland Alberta waiting for the snow storm to subside so I can deliver a load of steel tire rims for the big ore trucks used in the tar sands.  Drove through snow storm after snow storm all the way from Valemount, BC to my current position where it got too dangerous to drive anymore.  Saw a few rigs in the ditch but figured I’d better keep my eyes on the road instead of taking pics.  Talk to you later.

Back On The Road Again

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Started working for another company after taking six months off of work to regroup.  Haven’t taken out a load yet but hope to soon.  Spent the day getting pro rated insurance and new decals put on the Pete.  I blew a head gasket back in June and had an inframe done for 16 k in July.  Haven’t even broken it in yet.  Looking forward to getting back on the road even though it’s winter here and the mountain passes are already covered in snow.  That’s trucking.  I will start posting on a regular basis again once I start hauling loads.  Should be within the next couple of days.  Bye for now.

Scrap Car Nightmare

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Still hauling pipe into northern Alberta to the oil sands projects. Back hauled some crushed cars last trip that leaked oil all over my rear end of my pete and had to wait out the scale as I didn’t want to take a chance of getting shut down for 72 hours because of environmental issues or contaminated brakes. Starting to get tired of these loads as they are very risky vs the amount of pay for hauling them. BC seems to frown on these types of loads and the scales and DOT seem to pull us over when they can to check everything out. The main scrap metal buyer is in Vancouver, so that is where they are selling them. I came close to deciding to sell my truck and try something else after seeing the oil all over my brake drums. Just paid a lot of money to have all my brakes done and had to pay another 100 bucks to see if my shoes were contaminated. They weren’t but I’m not sure if I can take anymore of this stress. Leaning towards going back to school and trying something else now that I have some money saved up. The good money in trucking isn’t worth the sacrifices that have to be made in my opinion. Bye for now.

MVI Woes

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Well it’s that time again. Got to mvi my truck and I knew I had a few things to fix, but didn’t expect what I got from Peterbilt today. It seems my fifth wheel needs replacing, my brakes need replacing, my exhaust needs replacing and I have an oil leak on the engine block side of my power steering pump. Oh well, what can you do? The truck has made me nothing but money for the last two years since I bought it and spending money on upkeep is why that is happening.

I’ve been hauling loads of pipe back and forth to the Alberta oil sands projects and crushed cars, bales of crushed steel back to BC. Some of the back hauls to BC have been ugly but at least they pay okay. Drove through some snow on the Coquihalla two nights ago. Bye for now.