At one point, Wien was shipping me an International crawler tractor, personally owned by Sig Wien, with a combo forklift, dozer and bucket attachments. As usual, good old Wien 92853 C-46A (still flying out of Fairbanks on fuel hauls today) was used to haul it from Fairbanks to Dahl Creek. Oh the stories I have about 92853 in Alaska.
The flight was made in the winter although a rather warm day, probably only 0F degrees and shirtsleeve temperatures.
To offload, Kennicott Copper offered the use of a truck. They had some old Army all wheel drive trucks but for this, I forget if it was a 2 1/2 ton or 5 ton truck but suspect 5 ton. We loaded the back up with empty 55 gal drums which we covered with plywood to give them some support. We backed it up against the double back door on the C-46 and a Kennicott Copper operator started driving the crawler out the door. Took lots of back and forth movement as he made the turn onto the truck and because he wanted to come off as straight as posable with the truck to keep the barrels in place. As it came off, the machine was moving all over the place as the barrels moved around. Once the crawler was completely on the truck, the aircraft Captain looked it over. He decided he would crank up the right engine only and swing the tail around away from the truck and than taxi out on one engine to clear the truck. That done and the truck out of the prop blast, he cranked up the left engine and left us scratching our heads trying to figure out how we were going to get the machine on the ground. I did have some rather high snow piles near the parking ramp and one was almost directly behind the truck. Finally, we called for a D-8 Cat with dozer from Kennicott across the mountain. Once that got there, we very slowly backed the truck up against the snow pile and locked and blocked it up. Once that was done, the operator on the dozer started pushing up a snow ramp to the height of the truck plus the height of the drums on end. As of yet, the crawler had hardly moved and the barrels were holding solid, probably because of the plywood. We knew the snow bank would compact so it was built up about 2 foot higher than the barrels before the machine was fired up and started backing it off. The dozer operator had turned his machine around and stated backing his machine, back and forth, into the truck trying to pack the snow down before our crawler got to it. When it hit the snow, it did sink in a little but with the extra height, it actually came off the truck level and than down the ramp. Once on the ground, it was mine. I never did figure out how the State of Alaska got their Alas Chalmers Model DD grader that I used and was responsible for into Dahl Creek. Probably a C-130 national guard aircraft.
It was always great for me to work around guys like that in the bush. It is unbelievable what some of them could come up with as a group. I sure learned a lot from them that would really help me down the road in my different aviation assignments across the state. Kind of like a student pilot learning from his instructor. Keep your mouth shut, listen and watch, if you have a good instructor.
I believe I mentioned before about the flight in 92853 with 250 cases of TNT on board that took 7 hours for me to offload in the dark. Than there were all the flights with the same aircraft hauling bagged cement into Dahl Creek. One hundred fifty three bags per flight with temps inside the aircraft about 90 degrees and no wind. One hour ten minutes turnaround for 13,500 pounds per load plus taking on 106 gal of fuel, hand pumped. I suspect at that time, I could have matched Arnold what's his name for Mr. USA or whatever title the Goveranator had at the time.
Kennicott Copper loaned me a D-8 dozer to help in snow removal at the Dahl Creek Airport. Back in the late 50s and working on Interstate 80 near Omaha, Ne, I was taught how to operate a dozer and many other type of construction equipment. That is how much snow we had at times, fifteen feet one winter. Maintaining that Cat sure helped when operating my own Cat electric generators at Prudhoe Bay and along the Haul Road to Prudhoe Bay from Fairbanks.