Slippin' an' a-slidin'

Who amongst us has tried Ice Road Trucking?

Has anyone braved the frozen wastes of Canada?

Yes,and like any of the ex pats and guys who drive Russia and Scandinavia in the winter will tell you,it’s like any other job just harder and colder.

Do you recommend it?

lappland life 352.JPGDifficult to answer.It depends if you are looking to change your life\emigrate or if you just want an adventure.If the first then you must be prepared to totally change your way of looking at transport and be prepared to embrace a whole new way of life\work\culture.If you are just looking for adventure then you will find it hard to get anyone to employ you without experience as they all have enough of their own '‘home grown’'idiots who have learned Winter driving from watching ‘‘Ice road truckers’’.
If you really want to try Winter driving you could try working in Northern Scandinavia,we get snow from October to April with temps down to -40c.

I couldn’t emigrate, the brats and their mother wouldn’t allow it. I would very much like to try something new but this over regulated, mard arsed sceptered isle has nothing even similar to offer.

I’ll just have to be a non’home grown idiot’ and keep fantasizing.

If you could afford it you could always take a month holiday and either go to Canada or to Lappland and go with a driver for a few trips in the winter to realise your dream.You get to see the reality without the stress and still can say’‘been there,done that,got the photos’'.Mike

hutpik:
If you could afford it you could always take a month holiday and either go to Canada or to Lappland and go with a driver for a few trips in the winter to realise your dream.You get to see the reality without the stress and still can say’‘been there,done that,got the photos’'.Mike

I’ve semi-looked into it. I am allowed to take a 6 month ‘Career break’ from my current job. If I could get paid work over there for that time I would go and give it a shot.

Who knows what might happen if the bug bit…

lappland life 186.JPGThe only problem with that is that in the winter there is less work due to the fact that the ground is frozen and covered in meters of snow.
However if you are looking to get a ‘‘taste’’ of driving in a foreign country there is Always lots of work through the summer as that is when everything gets done due to both the shortness and,for 3 months 24 hr Daylight.Please note i am talking about Scandinavia as Canada is a different ball game with different rules and paperwork.
As for myself i now tend to work mostly from May until October,mostly in the mining sector, then relax for the winter skiing,fishing snowmobiling etc.Working May\Oct i can bank about £15000 net,this is working 7days,7days free.Obviously if work extra my ‘‘free’’ week i get more but as i came here to ‘‘work to live’’ rather than ‘‘live to work’’ my situation is a bit different plus i am 63,single and have no debts so prefer to have a better ‘‘quality of life’’ rather than a luxury life.

Are the rules regarding driver hours etc different where you are?

At present I am still full to the brim with financial commitments so I would very happily work every hour I was given, especially as it would only be for the stated 6 months of the year.

How did you make the move/find the work etc?

I would love to give it a try.

Thanks very much by the way, this is exactly the kind of information I’d hoped to attract with my original post.

lappland life 001.jpgHi Coogy.In the mining sector the WTD is a bit different than ‘‘normal’’ transport.I work 7 Days x10hrs then 1 week free. This computes to about 160 hrs each month so the 40hr week is still in place.As we live ‘‘far from the maddening crowd’’ the mentality is more of the ‘‘3 wise monkeys’’ variety.As the mining driving is ‘‘off road’’ there are no tachos so during '‘free time’'you are free to do what you want.
As to my situation I have lived in a variety of places including Holland [30yrs],Afghanistan[2yrs]Canada [1yr],my wife was Quebecois and now 6 yrs here[this is the end of the line].My last employer in Holland was Pilkington and they had some customers in the North of Norway.Due to the Dutch guys not wanting to come up here in the Winter i got most of the loads from September to April for about 10yrs.During this time i built a ‘‘love affair’’ with Lappland as it is so much like Canada.My Dream was to retire in Canada but after my wife died so did the dream.Due to Sweden being EU it was considerably easier to move here than Canada as an old single person.
I was able to buy a small cottage for cash [£25000]and get employment with a Company due to the helpfullness of the people here who seem’d to find me ‘‘quaint’’ if a Little eccentric for moving here when most people gravitate to the sun.This has made moving and living here so pleasant.

I’ve sent you a message Hutpik. Hope that’s ok.

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Cheers Mike. That’s very typical of the ones we use. No problem there.

Hi hutpik, do you ever get up to the Aitik mine at Gallivare ? Reason i’m asking is because my lad moved up there at the start of the year and like yourself he has nothing but good things to say about the place. I think the temperature took a wee bit of getting used to and now he’s trying to get his head round the constant daylight but friendly workmates and locals helped him settle really quickly. He also had big plans to try and learn a bit of the language but by all accounts it’s a pretty difficult language to master and with many of the people he meets able to speak English he’s put that idea on the back burner :smiley: :smiley:.
He spends a lot of time in the workshop at the mine but he has managed to get out and about including a snowmobile trip up near the border and although scenery and stuff is not his thing when he skyped after the trip we couldn’t shut him up about how stunning the place was, I’m starting to think he will find it difficult to leave when his contract ends in December.

What does your lad do Alpha Man?

Coogy:
What does your lad do Alpha Man?

He’s a plant engineer working for the CAT dealer up here in Scotland but at the moment he’s contracted out to the CAT dealer in Sweeden working in Aitik mainly on the 795 dump trucks and anything else with a CAT badge.

Fair play to him, sounds like an adventure.

Hi Alfa man.Sorry i havn’t replied but iv’e been working all week in Gällivare in LKAB 0600 till 2000 7 Days so have stayed at a mates flat as i live 90kms South of Gällivare.Now i have a free week.I was driving from Aitik last autumn for a guy in Gällivare hauling gravel out to the surrounding area but now iäm back at LKAB.As you say your son may not want to leave when the contract is up as the quality of Life here is so relaxing and rewarding.If he wants to stay he will have no problem to get work as they scream for drivers of trucks,heavy machines and mechanics.The language is not a big problem.The difference here is that the people are tolerant and patient so will help you more than in most European countries.I lived for 30 yrs in Holland but feel more at home here after 6 years.Mike