About an hour after leaving Prudhoe Bay, Jack meets a pilot car for an over-sized load so he stops at a pull-out and waits. You’ll see the trucks in back of the big load go around it, then a truck that will be traveling faster than Jack goes ahead of him.
The big load is a 400,000 pound mod (modular unit) and there were four 70,000 pound push trucks to get it from Fairbanks to the last hill which is about 60 miles south of Prudhoe. Only one push truck is needed to get it the rest of the way into Prudhoe and that’s the one you can see here.
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.