Transport Logistics in Extreme Conditions
At one extreme is the Artic – not only beyond the Artic Circle but also into the depths of Siberia, both which have featured in the past. We don’t know the lowest temperature we’ve operated in – it certainly below -25%, possibly even below -30%.
Whatever the case, thorough and careful preparation are the order of the day – ensuring that engines, brakes etc do not freeze up. In most northern countries, in winter, snow chains are mandatory – to also include parts of the Alps, Pyrenees etc.
When you add in heavy snowfall, life becomes even more interesting. We can well remember the year when we were snowbound, for almost a week, in the Austrian Alps – before snowploughs came and rescued us!
At the other extreme is heat – frequently temperatures in excess of 30%, sometimes over 40%. Many years ago, the Gulf States were a frequent destination – when melting road surfaces added yet another dimension, with support facilities being few and far between.
Our most vivid, early memory was driving construction equipment, under its own power (900hp), from Beirut to Baghdad, via Damascus – sleeping during the day and only moving at night, when temperatures were sufficiently low – but that’s another story.