Driving in the north.

Discussion in 'Canadian Truckers Forum' started by Octane Gypsy, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Octane Gypsy

    Octane Gypsy Bobtail Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    I'm interested in driving in the north. The real north .. like the Northwest territories, Yukon, Nunavut north.

    I've heard it's pretty challenging. Winters are absolutely brutal.

    Anyone here have some direct (or indirect) experience to share?

    Johny41 Thanks this.
  2. LDLWells

    LDLWells Medium Load Member

    Jan 14, 2019
  3. Snow Monster

    Snow Monster Medium Load Member

    Feb 9, 2019
    You're going to need a whole new wardrobe for sure, polar long underwear in any colour is good.

    I haven't been that far north, but I've experienced a good deal of -30ºC to -50ºC without the wind and things get pretty crispy in that kind of cold, trucks included.
    A little bit of wind can make it much more brutal.

    You have to be aware and take precautions when you warm them up and drive them, you don't just jump in and go with a cold truck, and you don't drive a truck in that kind of cold like you might on an interstate highway.

    At some point that truck will have to be abused in those conditions, more than the normal abuse it takes, best be nice to it in between, it's your best friend in the middle of nowhere.
    If it dies, you might die too!

    If you want to give it a try first to see if you like it or not, look at companies like Manitoulin, Gardwine, Trimac, (or Polar Industries, if they're still in business), that run the near north and/or travel the winter bush roads.
    Think of it as a precursor or a step toward the big show, a potentially brutal one.
    not4hire and Johny41 Thank this.
  4. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Humboldt, Sk
    If you have a modern truck. They found that the Emissions system can't get hot enough temperatures to do a regen, so your DPF box needs to be wrapped in some kind of blanket/insulation.
    Winter fronts. belly pan tarp, insulated cab.
    We had -43C for a day and -41C for two days last winter. Guys found that the Freightliner recommendation against the use of winter fronts did not pan out, they had to put them on.
    Coldest I've worked outside out of the truck for an extended period, -34C with 60 kph winds for two hours. Lots of clothing layers, hood, wind breaker, face mask, great boots. I was good and warm.
    BoxCarKidd, not4hire, Johny41 and 3 others Thank this.
  5. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    You picked a beautiful place to die.

    Hopefully your satellite phone is paid up so you can get sacraments and last rites to lift you up into the Lord's countenance against your foolish desire to take on Nature.

    /// teasing and Sarcasm.

    Come down here to the old south. Leave off all that snow.
  6. Snow Monster

    Snow Monster Medium Load Member

    Feb 9, 2019
    If you can find cell phone tower!

    Think satellite phone, it cost more to call, but what the heck, you're about to die, splurge a little!
    Johny41 and x1Heavy Thank this.
  7. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    You want to work up north.... hope you have at least above average mechanical ability.....

    Caging brakes , minor repairs and stuff like that. You can’t call TA road service. You got to limp the truck in by yourself......
    D.Tibbitt, Johny41 and uncleal13 Thank this.
  8. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    Most people will sell Camelot's King Arthur Original Sword at the Pawnshop for another hour at life. //half truth.

    For many life is something they hold on to and love a little bit too much when it's time.

    That far out in the north, satellite phone is the only way to go. It could turn a emissions related dead truck into a Chopper lift to your bright future.
  9. not4hire

    not4hire Road Train Member

    May 16, 2012
    Driven as far north as Inuvik... and most of the area in between, in all seasons, over 35-ish years. Lived in Yellowknife for four years and northern BC and Alberta for many more. What do you want to know?

    My first piece of advice, and one that will save your life... ALWAYS have a backup method for getting into your truck, eg., have a second key fixed on the truck you can get to when you lock yourself out.

    Nothing induces panic like being out in the frozen tundra all by yourself, it's -40, no cell service (your last cell service was two days ago and, no... VERY FEW people ever have access to a satellite phone), middle of the night and you get out of the truck without your full winter gear because you were just going to take a leak and realize you locked yourself out.

    A simple mistake can easily result in death.
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