Norway Trip – Better than watching Ice-Road Truckers – Feb 2020
Our driver Derek embarked on an interesting and challenging trip to Bergen in Norway. Please read his story below and see some fascinating photos.
“I crossed to Sweden on the ferry and successfully cleared customs and passed through the border into Norway. I put the recommended route to Bergen into the Sat Nav and off I went. To start with the “going was good” but I soon noticed that I was climbing higher and higher and that the “A” road was rapidly feeling like a “B’ road. Snow and ice were fast appearing but traction was still good (I think because the snow is constantly frozen, the snow doesn’t melt and keep freezing causing a slippery surface. The snow just compacts and with good tyres and the weight of the truck and a load I could still get a good grip).
Soon after this I came across a couple of stationery cars, a snow plow and a road barrier. A woman in hi-vis said the road is closed unless you have snow chains. I said “yes, we have snow chains”. I was advised to fit them to the truck drive axle. I had never done this before but with a little help from the snow plow driver who also suggested that I reverse 50 metres and then come back to re-tighten the chains, they were successfully fitted.
By then there were about 15 cars and so we all steadily followed the snow plow in convoy. In fact, it shot off like the clappers so I could not keep up, I was much happier doing 20mph! She had to slow down for me. I was, at this point, still feeling quietly confident, however, things were about to change. The weather took a turn for the worse and very fine snow was relentlessly tumbling down so that I could hardly see where I was going. There were poles on each side of the road to show where the road was but the snow was piled 6-8’ high along the side of the road and things were getting more and more difficult. We swapped snow plows and we were now travelling at only 5-10mph. I was only 30’ away but sometimes I actually lost sight of the snow plow altogether. We then had to stop for over an hour because there had been an accident behind us and the snow plow was needed. Soon after I ended up running into the edge of the snow drift and even with the diff lock I could not move. With the help of a shovel and a tow, I was on my way again. Then not long after we went up a steep incline and I was stuck again. The tow chains were used again and off I went. Then slowly slowly conditions improved and at the end of this road there was an ambulance, police and tracked army vehicles, this had been for the accident behind me. It had taken me 3hrs to move 20kms!
I was then off downhill and the roads improved and I welcomed the tunnels I went through where there was no snow. One of the tunnels was 25km long and, inside this tunnel after a while it opened up into a huge cavern like a big turning area which was brightly lit, blue, green and yellow. There were three of them altogether designed to break the monotony of the driving. Once down the other side of the mountain the road twisted and turned around frozen lakes and forest with amazing scenery.
I was only a little bit late and our customer was very happy. It was quite an experience, it’s never boring working for Boat Transport Ltd!