Jack participated in the Joy Wiebe Memorial Truck Convoy last Saturday that started at the Colville yard (Joy worked for Colville) on Van Horn Way and ended in Fox for a gathering. There are 4 videos here with the 1st, 2nd and 4th being sped up versions of the convoy, as viewed from the dash cam in Jack’s truck. The 3rd video in the sequence is “Joy’s Last Call” and comments from truckers over the radio, then the convoy goes by the pipeline viewing station where many onlookers are gathered and Jack lays on the horn like he was told to do. There were 70-80 trucks in the convoy.
Below are the videos of the Memorial “Joy Ride” and here are a few photos Jack took of the procession and gathering. If you aren’t interested in the sped up versions of the convoy and just want to see the real time comments on the radio just watch video #3.
Jack welcomes you to the Dalton, but kind of in the wrong order. Instead of just getting on the Dalton, he’s just leaving it. At the very end you can see the Elliot Highway to the right where it continues on to Manley, and at that point he has left the Dalton and is on the Elliot. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds. The Elliot Highway was finished in 1959, goes north from Fairbanks and turns west toward Manley, a town a few miles from the Tanana River. The Dalton Highway was built in the 1970s to supply and access the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and starts where the Elliot turns west to Manley. If Jack could, he’d redo this video so it goes the right away, welcoming you to the Dalton at it’s beginning. But it’s such a beautiful day!
Travel to another planet with Jack when he drives by one otherworldly track rig after another. This might be the best video yet so don’t give up half way through when there’s a lull in the traffic…there are more of these crazy rigs coming! (There’s music but it’s quiet at the beginning.)
In this one and a half minute video, Jack drives over the pipeline then has to wait in back of another truck while a grader finishes clearing the road. Then he continues on down the hill – you can see the grader on the left. (Don’t forget, the video is in HD so don’t watch it blurry!)
Recently someone asked how fast Jack is driving in these videos. The answer is, the fastest Jack drives on the Dalton is 55 miles an hour. His truck is governed at 55, meaning it is programmed to be unable to go faster than that. The speed limit of the Dalton Highway is 50 miles an hour, so he is given that extra 5 miles an hour in order to let him gain a little speed before going up the steep grades of the hills and mountains.
Of course he drives a variety of speeds. Things he slows down for are curves, rough patches, frost heaves, and animals. And when you see him meeting other trucks as a general rule he slows down to about 35. That is for safety primarily, but also etiquette.
So here’s another video, this one of a night drive, which is what the Haul Road experience consists of most of the time in the winter. (Don’t forget, the volume is loud.)
Recently the Dalton was drifted shut near Slope Mountain. This video starts right after 2 blades (graters) clear the road and one parks in front of Jack. If it weren’t for the plowed path, you can’t really tell where the road is unless you watch the delineaters, those reflective markers on each edge.