Driver has a bad day

Another truck goes off the road!  This one is about 20 miles from Prudhoe.

Happy Sunday everyone!  We’re having a beautiful sunny day after some snow and a wind storm that cut out our electricity for a couple of hours last night.

 

Pushing a crane

It’s quite common for a really heavy load to have one or more push trucks behind it to push when going up inclines.  Push trucks are commonly used on the Dalton Highway as well as the Parks and Richardson when the loads are outrageously heavy, otherwise it would take a very long time and so much fuel for the truck with the load to get up a mountain, and it would also impede traffic for long periods of time.  The push trucks just follow the load when not going up hills.

Taken 11 years ago, these photos really show how close Jack’s push truck gets to the load he’s pushing (a crane).  You can see the pad that the push bar pushes against, how the trucks make contact.

Curved directional pipe for crude oil

Crude oil pipe on truckI snapped these on Friday when this truck was fueling up to head north.Crude oil pipe on truck

Jack says they are used for crude oil and that they lay on their sides, not upright like on the truck. You can see the actual metal portion of the pipe that is colored green with anti-corrosion paint.  The black is thinner metal and in between the two is foam insulation.

This load is obviously going to Deadhorse or Prudhoe Bay.  (FYI:  Deadhorse refers to the “town” where companies have their operations, and Prudhoe Bay refers to the actual oil fields and is a much larger area.)

Click on the photos for larger images.

 

Hauling Pipe Rack Units to Prudhoe

A few years ago Jack and some other truckers took these pipe rack units from Fairbanks to Alpine, an area of Prudhoe Bay owned by Conoco-Phillips.  You’ll see the units being loaded, then Jack driving behind other units. You can see the pipes in the middle of the structure as well as the valve controls on the top.  These units are lined up next to each other and connected as part of the process of extracting oil and getting it into the pipeline to go south.  In one of the ice road photos you can see a pipeline on the right.

They drive through tundra, over mountains, and finally on the ice roads of Prudhoe Bay.  The last couple of photos, the ones where the road doesn’t look particularly icy, they are passing over a river.  If you are also rather astute (and here I am giving you a clue) you can also see Jack’s reflection in the mirror, as well as a reflection of the small fan that he had mounted on the dash that could turn toward the windshield to defrost it or toward him on hot days.

(The best way to view the photos is to click on the first one and then click on the right arrow.)

Broken Bridge Beam

This short video was taken a couple of years ago when a truck carrying a bridge beam went off the road and flopped over.   It was a costly problem for whoever ended up paying for it.  It broke in the wreck so they tore it into pieces and hauled it away.

 

 

The Donjek River Bridge, Canada

Some memories are dictated much by the weather.  Storms, wind, rain, and very often, sun.  Sometimes the sun falls just right, and the breeze is peaceful, and you’re in a good place. It might so happen that it’s 40 below, but some things can’t be helped.

This is my single favorite photo of Jack. It is November 2006.  His face is a little stiff from the cold but the afternoon setting sun shows how much he enjoys this crazy job of taking big things to faraway places.

Jack Jessee

In this case he gets to bring bridge beams to the Donjek River in Yukon Territory, Canada.

Jack JesseeThe old bridge is behind Jack.

Bridge Beam

Jack actually helped haul the bridge beams in the summer and is now (November 2006) back in the winter to pick them up again and bring them down to the crane on the ice.

Bridge Beam

 There are two cranes used to pick up the bridge beam.  The yellow piece that is at the right in the photo above is hanging from the other crane which is behind the person taking the photo (Jack).

Semi-truck

The trucks are awaiting another bridge beam to load.

Semi-truck with trailerThis is the dolly used to haul the bridge beams.

Jack JesseeJack is wearing a face mask, but no gloves!  No figure.

Bridge The arrow is pointing to the bridge beams already placed where they will forever stay.

bridge building

bridge building  Below is a Google Earth image of the Donjek River.  You can see the new bridge and the old road leading up to the river but the old bridge has been dismantled and removed.

Donjek River

Have a great day!

 

Photos from a past hauling job

Here are some miscellaneous photos that Jack took a couple of years back at a marine dock in Valdez.  He was there in May of 2012, hauling items for the railroad bridge that’s now finished (although there aren’t tracks leading to or away from it).

Pipe Hammering Device

The above piece is part of the hammer used to drive pilings into the ground.  For bridge foundations in this case.

Pipe roller

This is used to put pipe on so it can roll while being welded together.

Miscellaneous items in marine yardThese are miscellaneous items  used on the bridge job.

Pipe rollerAnother pipe roller.

Piling Driving DeviceJack says this stands on end and the large circular piece drives down into the hole and onto a piling.

Piling driving deviceThis is the hammer that pounds a piling, Jack thinks it’s for 24 inch pipe.

The large circular device in back should be for the large pipe in the far background.

Miscellaneous marine yard items24 inch pipe in back of some other items.

Marine yard miscellaneous itemsSheet piling (which gets pounded into the ground to create an embankment) and miscellaneous steel items.

Six foot pipe in ValdezSix foot diameter pipe that most people can walk though without bending over.

Six Foot Diameter PipeMore six foot diameter pipe with shipping containers in the background.

I must say this marine yard is a tad more attractive than most, surrounded by beautiful mountains and all!

Have a wonderful day and thanks to those of you who follow this blog and make comments. 🙂

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Jack’s driving the motor home this time…

This year Jack took me and the motor home out for a quick weekend hunt.  (It was really camping, not hunting, although Jack would have taken a shot if he came across one in an accessible area.)  We really wish we had been able to get out a little more over the summer!

There is always next year…

Jack, taking a look

Jack, taking a look

Sport, taking a lookSport, taking a look

Truck on the Dalton Highway, with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline next to the road

A Western Star truck driving the Dalton Highway with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in the background.  Jack knew who the driver was, of course.

Jack's wife, Judy and their dog Sport

Jack’s wife, Judy (me), and our dog Sport.

What are these?

Any idea what these are?

Jack on a pipeline access road

Jack on a pipeline access road.

Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Dalton Highway AlaskaFinally the sun starts to come out!

Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Dalton Highway Alaska

And we get to see the pipeline in the evening sun.

Dalton Highway sign

The beautiful Dalton Highway road sign at 1 mile.

Jack with motor home and big trucks

Jack taking a look at the big trucks, but he’s driving a motor home this time…

Here are a few more photos if you are interested.

Oxbow Lake, Dalton Highway Alaska

Trans-Alaska PIpeline, Dalton Highway Alaska

Autumn FireweedTrans-Alaska Pipeline along the Dalton Highway Alaska

Graffiti on the Trans-Alaska PipelineGraffiti on the Trans-Alaska PipelineBridge near Trans-Alaska Pipeline

Spruce Grouse

Spruce Grouse near the Trans-Alaska PipelineTrans-Alaska PipelineTrans-Alaska Pipeline, Dalton Highway AlaskaTrans-Alaska Pipeline

Have a wonderful autumn everyone!

Atigun Pass, after an avalanche

Merry Christmas everyone!

The below two videos show Jack driving over Atigun Pass through an area of road the state has cleared a tunnel through after an avalanche.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MYzo645ffY

(You might have to click on the 2nd video if it doesn’t come up like the first one.)

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Trucking Through Fires 2004

I just wanted to share with you this amazing photo Jack took in 2004 when wildfires were raging on the Dalton Highway.  Trucks were still moving through but the air quality for drivers was terrible.  Smoke combined with dusty dry conditions.  This was a non-digital photo that I scanned and ran some enhancing on, to a surprisingly interesting effect.

The Alaska West truck has just driven out of heavy smoke and has a substantial dust trail (click photo to enlarge to proper size).  Windy dry conditions exacerbated the fire intensity and level of destruction.

Truck Driving through Wildfire Smoke - Dalton Highway, Alaska 2004

Wikipedia says about the 2004 Alaska fire season:

The 2004 Alaska fire season was the worst on record in terms of area burned by wildfires in the U.S. state of Alaska.[1] Though fewer individual fires formed than in 1989 when almost 1,000 were recorded, more than 6,600,000 acres (27,000 km2) were burned by the approximately 700 fires that ignited. The largest of these fires was the Taylor Complex Fire, which encompassed 1,700,000 acres (6,900 km2) and was the largest fire in the United States from 1997 to 2007.[2] The Boundary Fire, Wolf Creek Fire, Chatanika Fire, and a fire that enveloped the Trans-Alaska Pipeline also received notable attention from firefighting services and the media. All together 426 fires were started by humans and 215 were started by lightning.

Map from Wikipedia:

Map of Alaska Wildfires 2004

You can see how at least one fire burned right over the Dalton.  Even Jack thinks it was a little scary to drive through these fires.  You really can’t see the road but for a few feet… he says the drivers call it “driving by Braille”.  🙂

Thanks for reading!  More wildfire photos to come.

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