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Interesting Mack Truck video building the DEW Line

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  • firestoper 25
    replied
    And that is the best way to treat a diesel engine.......keep it running, keep it maintained, keep it loaded AND keep an eye on the recommended preventative maintenance program. It will be your friend for many 'service meter units'. Inside joke for Cat folks !!

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  • Skip Lackie
    replied
    I should have included one other thing about that Cat diesel. It had been running continuously 24/7 for nine years, only being shut off for a couple of hours once a week for service. The Air Force, in typical military fashion, had left behind a book with all of the service records, right up to and including the engine shut down and camp abandonment in March 1961. In fact, the whole camp was in move-in condition, right up to the filled salt and pepper shakers on the mess hall tables.

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  • dpson
    replied
    P. O. Peterson (no relation), Executive Vice President of Studebaker, left in the early 1950's to become President of Mack Trucks, so there is a Studebaker connection at Mack.

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  • firestoper 25
    replied
    It may have been a D 342.......one heck of an engine. Others will add better first hand experience with the 'digger' side of the company. I had 10 years (80--90's) in the engine division. I have seen a D-8 with D-353 power.......another tough engine. The D-353 was replaced by the D-3412, a 60 degree V type engine.

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  • BobPalma
    replied
    Cool beans, Skip. Thanks for sharing the memories. That must've been some experience! BP

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  • Skip Lackie
    replied
    Interesting, thanks for sharing. I spent some time in 1962 at the DEW Line site in Barrow, Alaska. Since it was on the coast, it was supplied by sea, not by road. The first road to Alaska's Arctic Ocean coast wasn't built until the Prudhoe Bay oil work in the early 1970s. With only about 6 miles of gravel road around Barrow, the only vehicles were some USAF International 4WD, crew-cab pickups -- the first such trucks I had ever seen. Unless they were plugged in, they were left running 24/7 to keep them from freezing up, and serviced about every two weeks on the basis of time, not mileage (which was essentially zero).

    Related story: the Mack video notes that the diesels were never shut down, lest they not be able to be started again. While I was at Barrow, a Navy air crew discovered that ice station T-3, which had been abandoned by the Air Force about a year earlier after it had run aground, had broken loose and was drifting west toward the Russian Arctic. There was concern that the Soviet Union would discover and occupy it -- a fully equipped Arctic research station built at great expense on a stable piece of tabular iceberg. So a few of the most expendable staff members (including me) were dispatched to occupy it until a permanent staff could be assembled. We flew out to T-3 on a small ski-equipped Cessna. The air temperature was around -30F. There was enough fuel to keep the Cessna idling for about two hours before it had to fly back to Barrow. During that time we had to scope out the condition of the camp, and get some power and heat established. We had an Inuit mechanic named Leffingwell who took charge of the latter.

    The camp itself was in remarkably good condition, with only one or two buildings with snow intrusion. We dug out the power plant building, which housed a big Caterpillar 6-cylinder diesel that Leffingwell identified as being from a D8 dozer. He fired up a Herman-Nelson gasoline-powered heater, and aimed it at the crankcase. After about an hour, we connected some new batteries to the starter and cranked it over. It started right up with a roar, and the lights magically came on all over the station. It remains a lasting memory -- that Cat diesel firing right up after many months of inaction in temps as low as -60F. American engineering at its best.

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  • Milaca
    replied
    Ice road trucking at its finest! 600 horsepower, three times more power than a typical semi-tractor of the day (back in 1956). I assume that these trucks are a modified version of the off-road mining dump trucks (iron ore, coal, etc.) that Mack was manufacturing back then. Thanks for sharing.

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  • BobPalma
    started a topic Interesting Mack Truck video building the DEW Line

    Interesting Mack Truck video building the DEW Line

    I haven't watched the whole thing but it looks interesting. Bullet-nose appears on the street at 4:10 and there's probably more Studes along the way:

    https://youtu.be/6AYwLzwGReU
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