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Thread: worrying on trips up the haul road

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    Default worrying on trips up the haul road

    Okay I was wondering this on my solo drive up the haul road last week. Does anyone worry about there truck breaking down going up the Dalton? I found myself getting nervous about every small squeak and noise i heard. I carry the basics tool kit, fix a flat, air pump, spare belt, hose repair kit, jumper cables, oil, coolant and other fluids, and never carried more then 1 spare. I have been going up there since 98 at about 4 trips per year and only have had 1 flat (knock on wood) and that happened after i was home woke up after i got home to a flat tire. has anyone had a major break down and if so what did you do? Hitching a ride sounds easy enough but what about all your gear?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiso_67 View Post
    Okay I was wondering this on my solo drive up the haul road last week. Does anyone worry about there truck breaking down going up the Dalton? I found myself getting nervous about every small squeak and noise i heard. I carry the basics tool kit, fix a flat, air pump, spare belt, hose repair kit, jumper cables, oil, coolant and other fluids, and never carried more then 1 spare. I have been going up there since 98 at about 4 trips per year and only have had 1 flat (knock on wood) and that happened after i was home woke up after i got home to a flat tire. has anyone had a major break down and if so what did you do? Hitching a ride sounds easy enough but what about all your gear?
    I have USAA insurance and having the towing endorsement. I carry a sat phone and would just call and wait for the tow truck to get there from Fairbanks. My RV engine blow up 11 miles out of Valdez, the tow bill was 3000.00 to tow it to Anchorage for repairs. USAA covered the entire tow bill. I carry an extra spare and tire repair stuff and some extra fluids, repair tape, wire and hand tools. I have heard of vehicles having gear and parts stolen from them when left on the road side.

    That road gets more traffic every year help is never that far away. A CB radio helps as well. Stay out of the trucker's way and don't stop in the middle of the road.

    Good luck and be safe.

    Steve

  3. #3

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    Wiso 67 - valid concern and one that I do spend a little time thinking about. I haven't driven the Dalton yet but I like traveling with another vehicle if possible which it isn't always. You sound prepared and that's about all a guy can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I have USAA insurance and having the towing endorsement. I carry a sat phone and would just call and wait for the tow truck to get there from Fairbanks. My RV engine blow up 11 miles out of Valdez, the tow bill was 3000.00 to tow it to Anchorage for repairs. USAA covered the entire tow bill. I carry an extra spare and tire repair stuff and some extra fluids, repair tape, wire and hand tools. I have heard of vehicles having gear and parts stolen from them when left on the road side.

    That road gets more traffic every year help is never that far away. A CB radio helps as well. Stay out of the trucker's way and don't stop in the middle of the road.

    Good luck and be safe.

    Steve

    Steve I also carry tow insurance, I use to have a CB in my truck still have it and it is well worth the time to install it at least you can talk to people. I know there are alot of people who help others out there. I also know a guy who spent $600 buck on a tire at coldfoot OUCH!!!!!!!!!!. a sat phone is a great idea too.
    I might even take another trip up there we will see.

  5. #5

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    Carry towing insurance. At a buck extra a month, it is worth it.

    I blew a tranny seal... I should say transmission seal as that doesn't sound right... about 20 miles south of the Yukon River a few years ago. My dad and his buddy drove two trucks up to meet us (about a 4 hour round trip) and we took one of them to finish the trip. I was towing my boat at the time. Luckily I broke down in a construction zone, so I was able to use the phone at the main office and call a tow truck. I left the truck parked with the keys hidden, and they came to pick it up the next day. We continued on to Prudhoe and the truck safely made it into Seekins with a $500+ towing bill.

    There are enough truckers and other traffic that will lend a hand when you need it on the haul road. I've helped out a handful of people and have been offered money each time, but I just ask them to pay it forward when they get the chance.

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    Jerod I always wondered if a pump station or maintanence station would let you use a phone in case of a breakdown or other type of emergency's.
    my first trip up north back in 1998 my engine seal blew on the way home and knocking started at Seekin's $4500 bill but no tow truck, the road back then if memory serves was not as maintained as it is today.

  7. #7

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    I've had vehicle issues around pump 4 as well, and Alyeska let me use their phones at the pump station.

    I got lucky on my seal blowing and it blew tranny fluid on the exhaust so it smoked up pretty heavily. I stopped right away and ended up not having any damage to the transmission. I got lucky where I broke down though, I was behind a pilot car at the time.

    There is definately more help on the road today with the increased traffic. The road is much easier to drive, and is about half paved now. They finally are blacktopping the section north of Coldfoot that always seemed to be torture. My folks drove up on Monday and had no issues. I've driven it about half a dozen times over the last year and have not had a flat, and only one or two small rock chips. The "risk" factor has definately decreased, but with that came the crowds.

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    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    friend blew tranny 100 yards shy of top of Atigun,towing a trailer. if i recall correctly trucker pulled him to the top he had sat phone $4000 later was towed to fbnks. took 8-10 calls and 16 hrs before help arrived.
    tire plug kit is good idea. i usually have 2 spares for my truck and two for my trailer. but have not needed them with road improvements, like i had in the past.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiso_67 View Post
    Okay I was wondering this on my solo drive up the haul road last week. Does anyone worry about there truck breaking down going up the Dalton? I found myself getting nervous about every small squeak and noise i heard. I carry the basics tool kit, fix a flat, air pump, spare belt, hose repair kit, jumper cables, oil, coolant and other fluids, and never carried more then 1 spare. I have been going up there since 98 at about 4 trips per year and only have had 1 flat (knock on wood) and that happened after i was home woke up after i got home to a flat tire. has anyone had a major break down and if so what did you do? Hitching a ride sounds easy enough but what about all your gear?
    Wiso, if your that worried, trade in that piece of s**t dodge and get you a ford!

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    I would take at least two spares for your vehicle. We blew a trailer tire just past Atigun and put the only spare on. Also had an old plugged tire leak on the truck. Put some stop leak in the truck tire. Went into Deadhorse and the tire guy would not touch the tire with the stop leak and we could not find a 14" trailer tire in town. Ended up using the plugged tire as a spare and managed to make it home without a spare on the trailer. We had 3 vehicles but still not good without a spare. We plugged another truck tire on the same truck after picking up a sharp stone. The truck with all the tire problems probably should have had new tires, not my truck though. Good luck on your trip and drive with your headlights on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by weasel View Post
    Wiso, if your that worried, trade in that piece of s**t dodge and get you a ford!
    Really is that all you got I expected more hahahahahhhahahha,

  12. #12

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    Nice to see you worry about that kind of stuff when going solo! You usually leave that up to me!...... you know, the guy who ends up fixing your sheeat for you on a river bank somewhere! Speaking of which, make sure your stuff is ready to go next year! No more huntin south cushman for you! With the equipment you have, you should be hunting remote ground that has never been "travelled"! Dont be scared, just go prepared!
    Be safe, and enjoy your time outdoors!
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    I just got back to Fairbanks from an early morning attempt to make it up the haul road to go stick a caribou. Didnt quite work out. We were just south of the Yukon when all of a sudden the truck lost total steering control. We went off into the ditch almost putting the truck onto its side. Got out of the truck, looked underneath to find one side of the steering control arm sitting on the ground. The nut must have backed off and that was all she wrote. It only begins there. My buddy goes to get something out of the truck and to our bad luck the doors were locked with the truck running. The truck was unstable where it sat and one of us must have hit the lock button on the quick exit out. So I ended up taking the radio antenna off the truck and somehow managed to jimmy it through the door and unlock the truck. A short time later we had the control arm temp fixed so we can pull it out of the ditch and drive it to the next pulloff. That went smooth and a few short minutes we were sitting at the nearest pulloff. We had another hunting party with us so they ran to Fairbanks and got a nut. 4 hours later they return and we get the truck fixed. By that time it was already 6pm and we just decided to head on back to Fairbanks. A guy stopped by who had just returned from the slope on a 10 day hunt. He said there were 20 plus hunting groups up there with only 3 small herds of caribou being chased around. Not to mention we seen at least a dozen or more trucks heading up north to hunt. So we just said the heck with it and headed on back to Fairbanks. As we started heading down the road we noticed our other hunting partners were no longer behind us. Sure enough they shredded a tire on a brand new truck with less than 6000 miles on it. Goes to show it doesnt matter how good your tires are, they will find that one rock that will shred it to pieces. The troubles ended there and now i think its time for bed. Good luck everyone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwf99 View Post
    A guy stopped by who had just returned from the slope on a 10 day hunt. He said there were 20 plus hunting groups up there with only 3 small herds of caribou being chased around. Not to mention we seen at least a dozen or more trucks heading up north to hunt.
    One of those guys is probably RickP. Hopefully he bags something.

    I hear this time around he took a radio, something about a bad experience with a plow - I'll let him tell it.

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    nwf99 what a story I feel for you about turning back I would of done the same thing at that point. There could of been thousands of bou up there waiting to jump in the back of my truck and I still would of said nope going home. well hopefully you get another chance, the last few times I have been up there in Oct where unproductive, so now I simply dont go in Oct. I love the Aug timeframe

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    LOL yup I was up by toolik lake for about 16 hours. I had a meeting to atend in fairbanks and made a quick side trip up to the slope. When I got there I found tons of hunters and one small group of caribou the other side of the valley. I planed on trying a diferent area the next morning but changed my mind when my socks froze to the inside of my boots during a late night potty break. Stared the drive back at about 3 am, in a fairly good snow storm, atigun pass was interesting!

    The incodent that inspiered me to get a CB was last april. Got to the pass and found a sign "call channel 19 before proceeding". I waited a bit, nothing going on so off I go. At the crest of the pass I come around the courner and wind up staring down the business end of one of those giant snow blowers. It quickly became obvious he could not see me! I had to back down atigun at about 25-30mph with a 10 foot wide snow blower in hot pursuit! At the bottom I was freaked, the driver was worried about me and very apologetic and I swore to get a CB! Called three times and got confirmation from a trucker that the crew was done for the day before heading across this trip.

    I hunt solo for the most part and have made several trips up to the slope alone. I am always worried about the truck, fequantly about the weather and ocassionaly about my own health. I like to walk out at least a couple of miles and having snow on the ground makes the walk tons easier. It also garuntees it will be cold. I have had my mountianerring tent squashed on top of me by gail force winds and been stuck in the tent for a day becuase it was blowing/snowing so hard you couldn't see 5 feet! If your not a bit concerned and cautious on the slope this time of year you need to visit a doctor! The slope is one of my favorite places on earth but I am acutly aware that it is also one of the most dangerous.
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    I suggest not hunting the slope in October anyway. The meat isnt edible. I tried it once and will never do it again. I think the meat off that old bull is still in someones freezer... not even the dogs would touch it.

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