This 1956 Video Profiling 11 Mack Trucks Driving Into The Arctic Is Awesome


This 1956 Video Profiling 11 Mack Trucks Driving Into The Arctic Is Awesome

This may be the coolest thing that you will watch today. Made as a promotion film for Mack Trucks in the middle 1950s, this video documents the trip of 11 specialty build behemoth Mack Trucks as they trundled their way from Alaska to multiple stops on the DEW line in remote parts of Arctic Canada in 1956. The DEW line was a series of radar stations that would warn (DEW = Distant Early Warning) North American if the Russians decided that they wanted to attack. It was a highly remote line of defensive positions that were not easily accessed at all but when they were in need of actual supplies and stuff, trucks were the only way to get them there. Trucks being lead by bulldozers to build the road in front of them over thousands of miles of snow and ice.

Somehow Mack got the job of building the trucks for this particular mission and they were some of the most impressive diesel monsters of their day. In fact, they are still impressive today. Using 600hp engines, using tires that were roughly five feet tall, pulling massive 65ft long trailers, and in some cases carrying 5,500 gallons of their own fuel they were the perfect weapon to slog through the ice and rock with. Interestingly they were not built as 6×6 trucks but instead they had two driving axles in the back ¬†with a walking beam style suspension system. Judging by the video, the axles were equipped with spools or lockers to maximize traction.

There was a whole crew of men on this trip and one of the trucks even hauled a bunk house where guys slept as the other team drivers worked. Temps were up to 100 degrees below zero and the driving was treacherous. You will see multiple break through and incidents shown in this film. It must have been absolutely miserable to be one of the drivers. After the first day or so they just crept along and never seem to have broken about 10mph the entire way.

The trucks did make it though and the cargo was delivered. The men who participated were left with stories of a lifetime. Stories many people likely did not believe until they were confronted with real evidence!

There’s tough and then there is whatever these guys were – Tough times 10!


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