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Making cat tracks from Prudhoe Bay to Anchorage

Posted on Tue, May 22, 2012

Lynden Transport Account Manager Sam Amato took the photo below during a project for customer Marsh Creek. Lynden moved 160-plus loads of contaminated soil from Franklin Bluffs near Prudhoe Bay to Anchorage.  The soil is coming in via cat train. “The soil originates in Umiat, AK and is hauled on a two-day trip via the cat train to Franklin Bluffs,” Sam explains. “They bring in around 80 bags per train to Franklin for us to haul. This was a large project and we hauled about 50 loads north to get it started.” For two years prior to this project, Lynden was busy hauling the “cat” train to Prudhoe Bay for the customer. The cat equipment is custom built in Ohio and Edmonton. 

 Marsh Cat Train

Tags: Anchorage, Prudhoe Bay, Lynden Transport, Alaska

Unique challenges brought by Alaska's record-setting winter

Posted on Tue, May 08, 2012

Cold day in PrudhoeBroken thermometers, frozen brakes and landing gears, and frostbite. These are just a few of the challenges Alaska employees dealt with during the record-setting winter.  The record high snowfalls and low temperatures made operations challenging for employees throughout the state. According to John Jansen, Terminal Manager at Lynden Transport in Prudhoe Bay, the challenges on the North Slope were not unique but more extreme than usual.

“Prudhoe Bay doesn’t get a lot of snow, maybe a foot or two a year, but the little bit we do get doesn’t melt for seven months,” he explains. “It just blows back and forth all winter causing extreme whiteout conditions, the strongest of which halts all outdoor operations on the oilfield.”

The winter was so brutal that even ice road construction was affected.  

“At 30 below zero, the water they pour to create the ice roads freezes so fast it becomes difficult to form a smooth surface. It’s been too cold this winter to make good White-out in Prudhoe Bayice,” says Bering Marine Captain Jack Rasmussen. “It’s also been tough on the hovercraft. We’ve had some 68-below days that became 80-below with the wind chill,” he explains. “Our heaters and thermometers stop working in the hangar.”

The trucks were left running around the clock. “Besides the issues of freezing braking systems and valves, we have the additional challenge of hooking up to our trailers,” John explains. “We do this 20 to 30 times a day and it usually takes three to five minutes. At these temperatures, it can take 30 minutes. Instead of being slippery, the grease on the fifth wheels becomes stiff and tacky. It sometimes takes a blowtorch to warm up the landing gear cranks.”

And equipment isn’t the only thing that freezes. Employees on the North Slope sometimes needed to come inside to melt the frost off their clothes and faces. Dressing the part for these temperatures is serious business. Cell phones don’t always work in remote, frozen delivery areas, so John enforces a policy that employees check in every 30 minutes to let the team know they are o.k. “We are dealing with critical conditions up here and safety is our No. 1 priority for customers and employees,” he says.

Haul Road Winter 2012Lynden’s oilfield customers enforce safety shutdowns at 35-degrees below or colder for any hydraulic powered equipment used outdoors such as forklifts and loaders. When this occurs, the Prudhoe Bay team spends the downtime organizing and stripping loads to build one-stop and two-stop drops so they can quickly deliver freight to the waiting customers in the short window of warmer weather. “We had a situation this winter where we couldn’t deliver for six days. As soon as it warmed up we had all hands on deck to make as many deliveries to our customers as we could before the temperatures dropped again,” John says. “The whole crew will be glad when this winter is over.”

Tags: Prudhoe Bay, Winter conditions, Lynden Transport, Alaska

CH2M Hill utilizes Lynden for time-sensitive freight.

Posted on Fri, May 21, 2010

This spring CH2M Hill needed a drill rig transported from Kenai to Prudhoe Bay within 48 hours. The catch: the rig consisted of 21 loads - all hot shot.

The Lynden crew in Kenai quickly mobilized for the two-day rush. Customer Service Representative Danette Goode and Operations Manager Boyd Jorgensen set to work on the load-out. Service Center Manager John Jansen handled details at the Prudhoe Bay Service Center.

"This was a super fast track move and, at 21 loads, quite a challenge," says Lynden Transport Account Manager Sam Amato. "We couldn't have done it without the efforts of Boyd and Danette."

Boyd, in turn, recognized drivers Jason Toliver, David Martinsen and Rusty Deckard for their dedication to getting the loads on the road. "They made sure everything arrived smoothly on-site," he says. Kenai Service Center Manager Kyle Fisher summed it up, saying "Great employees and teamwork are what make Lynden so effective in situations like this. Everyone has a positive attitude and is willing to work together to make it happen for our customers."

CH2M Hill - Drill rig move
(One of the 21 CH2M Hill loads arrives in Prudhoe Bay)

Sam was at Prudhoe Bay when the first loads arrived and later met with the CH2M Hill team that had flown in to assemble the drill rig. "They came to us with a very time-sensitive project and trusted us to get it done," he says. "In the oil business, idle equipment costs money. They were extremely happy that Lynden was able to meet the challenge."

When the project was complete, Lynden moved the rig south from Prudhoe Bay to Nikiski, Alaska, for CH2M Hill. The project required 26 loads this time, instead of 21, due to road and weight restrictions. Loads went from Prudhoe to the Fairbanks yard where Lynden split them into smaller sizes for the final leg to Kenai-Nikiski.

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How's your work commute? Sam Amato sent in this photo looking down the haul road (Dalton Highway, connecting Livengood to Deadhorse over 414 miles).

Haul Road - Dalton Highway

Tags: Heavy Haul, Lynden, Prudhoe Bay, Oil Industry, Shipping in Alaska, Drilling Rig, Lynden Transport

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