Lynden companies have completed many projects for long-term customer NC Machinery, but the latest took full advantage of the varied skills available in a multi-modal Lynden move. "We were asked to deliver five mining trucks to the Manh Choh gold mine near Tok, AK," explains Tim Glynn, Alaska West Express Project Manager. The 777 Caterpillar trucks were not assembled, so Alaska West Express sourced the tires and other pieces from Illinois, the 18-foot-wide beds from Texas, and trucked it all to Alaska Marine Lines' Seattle dock with pilot cars escorting the drivers.
Alaska West Express Tacoma Service Center Manager Neil Cranford assesses the size of the 777.
"In Seattle, we unloaded the pieces and gave the NC team space to assemble the trucks. We assisted with forklifts and a crane to set the beds on," Tim says. "Without this option, our customer would have to transport the parts to the remote mine location and assemble the trucks there. Our ability to provide this service saved them time and money."
The assembled trucks rode the barge to Whittier where they were transferred onto the barge Cordova Provider from Whittier to Valdez. Each truck was 34 feet long, 21 feet wide and 17 feet high with a weight of 160,000 pounds. In Valdez, they were loaded onto trailers for the three-day 500-mile trip to the mine. Alaska West Express Driver Gary Ridall was behind the wheel pulling the 85-ton, 13-axle Aspen trailer, and Alaska West Express Driver Malcolm Henry drove the push truck.
"One of our greatest advantages is our professional employees," Tim says. "The drivers are highly skilled and must be in constant communication. It's an art when you watch them working together." Lynden companies will go through the same assembly and delivery process with the other three trucks which will be delivered to the mine later this year.
Driver Gary Ridall maneuvers the load on the narrow, winding haul road to the mine.