The Last Frontier

In September 2023, International Truck Stop2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 24, 2023

Grant Schofield is back with another series of snapshots. This month, he offers up images of Alaskan trucking.

Above: Colville runs a fleet of Peterbilt 389 tractor units pulling fuel tankers with either one or two lift axles.

An owner/operator for Alaska West Express photographed heading south towards Fairbanks with an empty fuel tanker. With up to 19 hours of darkness, the extra spotlights and light bars on many trucks are needed in winter. In summer above the Arctic Circle, it is light 24 hours a day, which they call the ‘Midnight Sun’.

An Alaska West Express owner/operator heading south over the Atigun Pass with a heated van trailer. This is the highest point on the Dalton Highway at 1444m and crosses the Brooks Range.

Big Dreams Transport from Wasilla, Alaska, running doubles on the Anchorage- to-Fairbanks route. These long-combination vehicles (LCV) can be up to 29m and gross in the area of 70 tonnes.

‘Big Money’ is the owner/ operator of RGC Logistics, working for Lynden Transport and based in Fairbanks. He runs Fairbanks to Deadhorse and back three times a week on the Elliot and Dalton Highways, a round trip of approximately 1600km. Of these round-trip kilometres, only 600km is sealed (much of it having huge potholes); the rest is a fairly well-maintained dirt road.

Alaska West Express/Lynden Transport is the biggest player on the Dalton Highway, running a fleet of company and contractor trucks pulling reefers, vans, flatdecks, low- loaders, fuel and powder tankers. This Freightliner Coronado is hooked to a 53ft (16m) flatdeck with two axles that can be lifted and steered.