“Most people have been exposed to the ice roads only through dramatized television shows,” said John Walsh, Mack Trucks vice president of marketing. “We wanted to share the real story behind how these roads are built and maintained, as well as the incredible toughness required to operate in this harsh environment.”
Westcan, with more than 50 years of experience in bulk haul, is one of western Canada’s largest bulk transportation providers, with more than 1,200 employees operating across 16 locations. Mack® trucks make up the majority of Westcan’s fleet of more than 700 power units, including the new Mack Anthem® model.
Westcan, headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, serves more than 500 customers in the retail petroleum, oil and gas, mining, agriculture and construction industries. Westcan also operates RTL Construction, which specializes in civil and industrial construction in northern Canada and plays an integral role in the construction of the ice roads.
“There’s a lot of rhetoric around ice roads, but people should realize that these are engineered right from the start,” said Larry Wheaton, vice president of operations for RTL Construction and Westcan Bulk Transport. “From December to about the first of February, we have a six-week program to build about 200 kilometers of ice roads that we’re responsible for.”
Crews use a sophisticated GPS-tied ground-penetrating radar to measure ice thickness every meter along ice roads. The radar unit is pulled behind a pickup in three passes: one in the center of the ice road, plus one on each side. To support the weight of a fully loaded super B-train combination, the ice must be 39 inches thick. Ice thicker than 41 inches allows for “max weight” loads.
“I would say the ice roads are the safest roads in North America,” said Manfred Grunleitner, a Westcan driver. “You never run on your own; you’re always in a convoy with security and safety people around.”
Additional RoadLife 2.0 episodes will premiere throughout the summer and into the fall. Viewers can watch RoadLife episodes on roadlife.tv and Amazon Prime Video, with additional content featured on Mack Trucks’ social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Dedicated to durability, reliability and meeting the needs of customers, Mack Trucks has provided purpose-built transportation solutions for more than a century. Today, Mack is one of North America’s largest producers of heavy-duty trucks, and Mack® trucks are sold and serviced through an extensive distribution network in more than 45 countries. Mack trucks, diesel engines and transmissions sold in North America are assembled in the United States. Mack manufacturing locations are certified to the internationally recognized ISO 9001 standard for quality, ISO 14001 standard for environmental management systems and OHSAS 18001 standard for health and safety management systems. Mack is also a proud sponsor of Share the Road, an American Trucking Associations public information campaign aimed at enhancing the safety of our nation's roadways.
Mack Trucks is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs almost 100,000 people, has production facilities in 18 countries and sells its products in more than 190 markets. In 2018, the Volvo Group’s sales amounted to about $43 billion. The Volvo Group is a publicly held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. For more information, please visit www.volvogroup.com.
For more information about Mack, visit our website at www.macktrucks.com