Forums Forums - Off Topic Forum FUN




Go Back   Forums Forums - Off Topic Forum FUN > Snow Trac ST4, Kristi, Thiokol/LMC, Tucker, Bombardier & Other Snowcat Discussions > Snowcat History, Articles, Manuals, Brochures & Recollections Forum

Snowcat History, Articles, Manuals, Brochures & Recollections Forum Publications, specifications, production information for snow cats

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-29-2008, 09:34 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

Originally the Trans Alaska Pipeline had Snow Tracs and Snow Masters. About 35 in all, and most were fitteted with the Ambulance Rear Doors. Then around the time they quit producing ST4's,Aleyska, (authority that runs the 800 mile,Trans Alaska Pipeline) decided to Up-grade. The personel of the pipeline wanted Haglunds but when the 'bean-counters' at Alyeska heard how expensive they were they opted out to purchase Tucker Sno Cats instead. They purchased 44. This constituted one of the largest single snow cat purchases in the history of the company. Only Northwest Tell's purchase of 100 Snow Trac's in 1960/1961 exceeded this. Generally Snow Cat manufactures are glad to make the sale of one or two machines to a Ski Area, or Phone company. >
Aleyska's Tuckers were equipped with giant fuel tanks, Diesel Engines and Allison Transmissions, making them slower than a stock Tucker, but they would run for 2 or 3 days on a tank of fuel. Most were 4 door with a small platform on the back, and the rest were the Freighters. All of them have 1983 as the manufacturing date on the nomenclature plate. In or around 1990 they purchased an additional 5 bombardier Ski Dozers. They had the same 5.9 Liter, 6 cylinder Turbo Cummings that the dodge pick-ups have. They also had a bazarre collection of attachments. The chasis were fitted with a rail system so that a huge 'Man box', a dump body, A back Hoe, a Small Crane and some other attachments could easily be installed and removed. They were equipped with 2 sets of tracks for varing snow conditions, and cost a bundle. Almost imediately 2 of the machines broke differentials and from that point on no one wanted to operate them so the ended up going to Auction when they were fairly new. But back when they were using them is where our story starts, in Valdez Alaska.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-29-2008, 09:38 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

All along the Pipeline are these huge valves that can close at a moments notice and curtail any disaster such as an earthquake that could damage the Pipe. And they are maintained to perfection! I had a crew of electricians working at several of the Remote valves doing some maintenance and up-grades.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-29-2008, 10:37 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

There are 125 valves, they weigh about 20 tons each. Some 65 of these are "Remote" which is about as REMOTE as you can get. These are not near any of the 12 pump stations or a town or near any sign of civilization, they are "out-there". We have problems with Bears and Wolverines at some. A few, that are in deep snow areas, have a sort of two story outhouse that has doors one over the other so that it can be accessed in deep snow, like 20 foot!
My crews were making the same up grades at each valve, which took a few days, then they would call me and I would come inspect the work. Many had to be accessed by Snow Cat. I agreed to meet Alyeska's equipment operator at a plowed parking lot off a state highway for the 7 mile ride in to the RGV(Remote Gate Valve). He picks me up in this fairly new Bombardier Ski Dozer, with the 10 Man Box on it just outside of Valdez, not far from where they hold the World Extreem Skiing championships every year. As we are climbing this not so serious hill on the pipeline Right of Way we find a bunch of stuff that apparently had fallen out of the back of the Snow Cat earlier in the day. A Hard hat, someones lunch, some gloves and a firextinguisher, which we stopped and picked up. I was not impressed as to how the machine handeled. It had to make multiple attempts to get up a not so steep hill that a Snow Track would have breezed up.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-29-2008, 10:51 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

When we arrive at the RGV the 'sparkies' were just finishing up. I did my inspection, then we proceeded to load a portable generator, a power threader, pipe benders, a small step ladder, and a 20 foot extension ladder that just barely fit in the 10 Man box going from one corner to the opposite. The 3 electricians piled in and we tied the double rear doors closed with a piece of wire. The latch wasn't working right. And the Operator and I climbed in to the cab. A couple miles back up the pipline right of way while traversing this steep hill I hear this banging noise. The operator and I are both wearing hearing protection. Seems a fairly large fire entinguisher, had tipped over and discharged in the 10 Manbox. Because of how the guys were trapped in by the 2 ladders they couldn't reach it to shut it off. Fortunately there was a "Pop-Top" roof hatch and all three of the electricials heads were hanging out with fire extinguisher dust going everywhere! They finally found something long enough to reach the cab of the snow cat and beat on the roof to get our attention! They couldn't even reach the door, which was wired shut from the outside anyway leaving them trapped. It was comical.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-29-2008, 11:29 PM
Snowcat Operations's Avatar
Snowcat Operations Snowcat Operations is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NEVADA
Posts: 7,804
Thanks: 32
Thanked 90 Times in 44 Posts
Snowcat Operations is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

Lmao! Those guys must haves been mad as hell.
__________________
EVIL prevails when good men stand aside.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-29-2008, 11:31 PM
Trakternut Trakternut is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,940
Thanks: 10
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Trakternut will become famous soon enough
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

Specially since the driver took his lessons from you!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-30-2008, 01:11 AM
NorthernRedneck's Avatar
NorthernRedneck NorthernRedneck is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 10,043
Thanks: 3,295
Thanked 5,056 Times in 2,360 Posts
NorthernRedneck will become famous soon enough
Style: T66
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

Now thats funny! I could just picture those guys scrambling around in there with the fire extinguisher going off.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-30-2008, 10:07 AM
Av8r3400's Avatar
Av8r3400 Av8r3400 is offline
Gone Flyin'
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North Central Wisconsin
Posts: 5,773
Thanks: 204
Thanked 545 Times in 272 Posts
Av8r3400 will become famous soon enough
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

(Sorry: For the record its a Cummins engine, not Cummings - she's a porn star. )
__________________
Av8r3400

I'd rather die trying to live,
than live trying not to die.

-Leonard Perry
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-30-2008, 11:57 AM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default About the Ski dozer:

I don't want to knock Bombardiere owners, having owned 3 myself. My little Bombi was very agressive and would go anywhere, but the way Alyeska set up their Ski Dozer's, I think they had too much weight in the wrong places, combined with the wrong tracks. The tracks they usually ran were steel and had rubber, much like tire material on the last inch of each grouser so that it wouldn't scratch up paved roads. The other set of tracks which usually stayed rolled up on pallets, had the aluminum, possibly 4, or 4 &1/2 inch tall grousers, that were wider tracks. In slushy corn snow conditions the steel tracks just didn't get it. Of course in this type of conditions lots of Snow Cat's have a hard time. It's about the only type of condition that I've ever gotten stuck in. Still they preformed poorly.>

But that is not why Alyeska abandon using the Ski Dozers. They had a safisticated differential, that use a pair of hydrolic motors to run some additional ring gears. These tended to break on this model. That left you stranded, 40 miles from nowhere, in 30 below conditions. The differential repair cost 30,000$, which the pipeline could afford to pay.(1.2 Million barrells a day X 44 gallons per barrell= 52.8Gallons X 22 $ per barrell + 1161.6 $ per day, Divided by 24 hours=48.8, divided by 60 =.8 Million dollars per minute)>

The Alyeska employees just didn't want to be the ones responsable for 30,000 dollar bereakdowns, or be stuck out in the frozen tundra. So they refused to drive them. And they went for "Chump-Change" at the Auction.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-30-2008, 12:07 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

We still had about 50 RGV's left to do the Mechanical/Electrical Up-grades at. After our bad experience with the Bombardier, we switched to using the Tucker Sno Cats. I was really impressed by where the Tuckers would go. The 3 Tuckers I owned all had the Steel tracks, but the 20 year newer Tuckers of Alyeska had Belting with grousers and would climb up cork-screw hairpin turns that I'm sure would have stopped any differential braking Thyokol or early non hydrolic Bombardiere, or left you hopelessly stuck. Even loaded down with equipment and personel they preformed flawlessly in deep un-packed powder and on rough terraine. Which leads us to the next snow cat disaster: Tuckers on the Ice Flow.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-30-2008, 12:27 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

Once a year Alyeska does a sort of variation on a Fire Drill. It's the Emergency Spill Response Drill. Should there ever be a break in the line, say from an earthquake, besides shutting down the line and isolating all the segements(done automatically in seconds) to limit the spill as much as possible, personell at all 12 Pump Stations have to do practice containment drills. At each of the Pumpstations they have a 80 by 120 foot New Tin Warehouse with huge pre crated materials, Tents, containment supplies.... everything one could possible think of to be carted out to a potential site. This is usually the home of their tucker Snow Cats too, which sit fueled up and ready to go. Most of the other trucks, loaders, graders, and heavy equipment sit outside, but the Tuckers get the honor of living "Inside" a warm, heated, well lit warehouse.
During one of the "Drills" Trucks, Snow blowers, Graders, Loaders, The Helicopter, and of course the Tuckers all Roll! The crews get rated for time as to how fast they can get there, and get everything set up. Since it's about 60 to 80 miles between pump stations one might have to travel quite a ways on the "Haul-road" then some additional distance 'Off-Road'. The Tuckers are always the 2nd in as the helicopter gets there in minutes. Meanwhile the Graders, Laoders and Snow blower start clearing the access road which in some cases might be 4 of 5 miles long. As these are not usually kept plowed in the winter it means moving alot of snow.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-30-2008, 12:38 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

This is an RGV, or Remote Gate Valve. It has an associated control building not in this photo.
Name:  RGV.jpg
Views: 421
Size:  13.2 KB
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-30-2008, 12:40 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

The Valdex marine Terminal where the 800 Mile Pipeline ends.

Name:  alyeska-pipeline-terminal_1270.jpg
Views: 410
Size:  44.2 KB
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-30-2008, 12:42 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

Name:  35pipelineview.jpg
Views: 423
Size:  37.5 KB
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-30-2008, 12:43 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

And of course, the Snow Cat's:

Name:  pipeline snow cat.jpg
Views: 432
Size:  42.8 KB
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-30-2008, 12:59 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

Pump 5 where this story takes place is "OUT-THERE", I mean Really "Out-There", it's right on the Arctic Circle. It has it's own airport, and that's about it. It's Quiet. Pump 5 doesn't really pump oil. It's a "Relief Station". Oil coming off the top of Adigan Pass, some ways north of pump 5 and at 4000 ft, the highest point on the pipeline, is diverted into a huge tank (550,000 Bbl, that's 'half a million'!) if there is an emergency shut down. These actually happen fairly regularly. If some 20 year old realy fails, or a mining operation trips off a sizemic detector, or any of thousands of safety devices at the 12 pump stations detects a problem, then it all automatically shuts down. 125 Vlaves close, and about 20, Rolls Royce jet engines,(17,500 HP @) Ramp down and excess oil goes into pump 5. After the event is over and the pipeline is back up and running, smaller (1100 HP) Solar Saturn Turbine pumps empty out the big tank and push the crude back into the line. So the only time there is much activity at Pump 5 is when there is a 'problem' on the line. The rest tof the time all is quiet.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-30-2008, 01:03 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

Pump Station 5:
Name:  Pump_Station_5.jpg
Views: 417
Size:  28.9 KB

Looks pretty desolate, well it is!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-30-2008, 01:13 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

So it's Pump 5's turn for an Oil Spill Response Drill. The Helicopter breaks down! The first Tucker to head out to the site gets caught on an "Ice-Flow", which is where water from a small stream that froze up, later starts running over the surface and creates quite a messy blob of Ice. So the second Tucker Throws a track while trying to pull the first one off the Ice flow. At the Chow Hall that evening, in came a bunch of folks that looked like drowned rats! They were cold, tired and cranky and were all cussing the snow cats. NO snow cat enthusiasts at Pump 5 that night!.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-30-2008, 01:25 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

There have actually only been a couple of oil spills in it's 35 year history. both were caused by intentional sabotage. In 2 cases explosive charges, called "Shape charges" were attached to the line. Only one of these succeeded in causing a leak, and was fairly quickly spotted, fixed and cleaned up. The other was at a disgruntled land owner who's property abbuted the Right of Way. He managed to shoot a hole with a high powered rifle, after several successive shots. 2 of the three offenders were caught, tried and prosecuted by the FBI which considers the Pipeline a National Security Risk.
Name:  pipelinespews.jpg
Views: 418
Size:  31.2 KB
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-30-2008, 01:32 PM
Lyndon's Avatar
Lyndon Lyndon is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,923
Thanks: 70
Thanked 254 Times in 91 Posts
Lyndon is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Ski Dozer Disaster/ "Lyndon's Fables"

The Trans Alaska Pipeline has been in operation for 35 years, has transported over 20, Million Barrells of Crude and for some years it provided the US with almost 1/4 of it's oil. At it's height it pumped 2.7 Million Bbls a day for about 7 years. Today it pumps just under a million a day. >
Alyeska Employees drive and inspect the entire 800 miles every day, and it gets a "Fly-Over" inspection by airplane and helicopter every day. which leads is to the next story: "Irish Setter and Tree Frog Beer"
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2002 - 2018 www.ForumsForums.com