My history with the HUP and the 3 Tons are tied to snow because snow played
a part in going to look at them and or in picking them up and hauling them
home. In the case of the HUP the first time I saw it it was about 20 degrees
on a snowy January day in Vermont. The C60S was likewise picked up and hauled
home on a cold day.
Though I rarely drive either of the trucks out on the
highway once they have put out the road salt I do drive them regularly when
it has snow heavy before they use salt.
As any of you who have driven military non-directional
tires on snow know they are next to worthless on a snow covered
plowed snow. The contact area of the tires is so small that you
have about the same traction as a bicycle. In fact once I've plowed
the door yard and go to back BEAST out of the garage if I leave
it in two-wheel drive it stops moving as soon as the rear wheels
hit the snow. The drag of the grease and oil in the front axle
is so great it requires four-wheel drive.
But if the snow isn't plowed it is a different story,
We have not had a storm that would stop BEAUTY even the heavy wet snow storms
we get some times don't stop it. There have been times that have used the
3 Ton to brake a path for my civilian 1 ton Jeep plow truck which couldn't
move in the two feet of heavy wet snow with the plow up let alone. A couple
of times up and down the drive with big truck and then the plow could start
to work. Over the years I have had plow drivers from the town show up at the
door during heavy storms when they have gotten stuck near the house. As long
as they haven't plowed all the road completely I can get traction and generally
can pull them out. But every now and then I have gotten the trucks stuck and
when 11,000 Lbs is stuck in the snow it is stuck. Here Beauty has slipped
off the road into a ditch. The power cord running out to the truck are to
keep the water system in the box from freezing over night.
Neither of my trucks have the arctic option
of a heater so whatever the temperature out is what it is in the
cab. I made up the radiator muff which covers the grill and this
allows the engine to warm up much quicker and completely. It also
makes a big difference in how the engine runs at low temperatures
particularly if the manifold heat riser valve is stuck in the
open position or has been blocked off. At temperatures below 50
F I run with the cover over the lower half below 20 F you can
generally run with it fully covered on all but the steepest hills.
The radiator muff has little impact on the cab temperature but
does have a big impact on the engine compartment temperature.
The first couple of years that I had the
HUP I stored it for the winter in a neighbors barn up the road
jacked up and sitting on blocks. But what I discovered was that
I had brake and seal problems almost every spring when I took
it out of storage. Once I build a garage space for it and drove
it up and down our drive every couple of weeks I had less problems
with brakes and other things from sitting. Mice and chipmunk problems
during storage is another issue but I'll write more of that later.
I've come to the conclusion that regular driving is less damaging
than sitting for long periods.
Cold weather starting of 6 volt systems. Many of my friends
in the military vehicle hobby have converted their trucks to 12 volts to solve
the cold weather start problems. Strangely I have never found this to be a
major problem. Now modern 6 volt batteries have more cold cranking amps than
those of 50 years ago. The CMPs are sensitive to cold starting but this is
more and issue of maintenance clean plugs ignition timing and the freshness
of the gas. The fuel pumps with the manual priming lever help greatly in cold
Another little trick that I discovered years
ago for starting the big truck when it had a weak battery. This
works particularly good if you have to start the truck with the
crank. All you need is a 9 volt radio battery and two clip leads,
with the ignition switch in the OFF position clip the little battery
to the battery terminal of the coil the other to ground. Switch
OFF is so that you are not trying to feed the entire circuit of
the truck. Then you turn the engine through with the hand crank.
The 9 volts gives a nice hot spark and I have had very good luck
starting the engine this way. This same approach also works when
the truck battery is low and just turning the engine over.
Another thing that I have noticed that when
cold the truck will often catch/fire just after you release the
starter. Reason the engine is still turning but now has more juice
to the coil. Even below zero both of my trucks generally will
start. The most help that has been needed even at 20 below was
putting the charger on the battery for and hour before trying
I would love to find all the components
of the arctic hand primers system that shots gas directly into
the intake ports. I suspect that this would also solve the problem
of vapor lock starting as well. I will admit that the 6 volt batteries
can run out of cranking power when you are trying to clear a flooded
or vapor locked engine. I understand that the Ford powered CMPs
are more prone to vapor lock than the Chevy.
The coldest I have ever been, is taking
the HUP to a Pearl Harbor event on the 50th anniversary I started
out and it was below zero in the truck and it never got above
20 degrees all day long, oh yes that was Fahrenheit. The best
thing I can say about driving CMPs in bad weather is that at least
you are more protected than in a Jeep. Being out of the wind means
an awful lot once the temperature drops below 30.
Yes, we do get snow here in New Hampshire some years a
lot some years a little 1980s some time, all three trucks have a nice heated
shop to live in out of the weather.
Mother nature gave us surprise largest snow fall in New
Hampshire for October in recorded history. Started snowing at 3pm on the 29th
and by 7am on the 30th we had from 20 to 24 inches of heavy wet snow on the
ground, trees everything. This was a real suprise storm as the trees still
have their leaves so we have pretty colors and snow at the same time on left
7AM right 11AM
Below is Beauty coming out to brake trail for my plow
pickup which could not move the heavy wet snow until snow was packed down
below the under charage. Part of the problem for the plow was that the ground
is not frozen so the blade has to be carried several inches up of the ground.
here or on the photo to see a video of playing in the snow and driving
out along the drive to break trail.
Here is my 1977 plow truck only 47000 miles, no I don't
take it out on the road during the winter just up and down the driveway and
to clean up the door yard. But my little truck just could not push the snow
out of the way until it had been knocked down.
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