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      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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Christopher Quast

Weight distribution on ice question????

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If you have a 1/2 ton 4x4 pickup which weighs around 6500 lbs and a wheel house that weighs 2500 lbs and if you figured out the size of the whole chunk of ice your on top of at a given time. I have thought about this alot while driving out on an unfimiliar lake, and I'm sure I am not the only one who has had this cross their mind.

I know there are alot of veriables involved, but after watching Ice Road Truckers last season doesnt it kind of make you wonder how much ice is really needed to be considered safe given your weight distribution between all 6 tires on your rig.

Dont get me wrong and give me the whole safety speech, because I wont drive out until I see others with at least the same size rigs driving out. That doesnt mean much though even late ice, since last year I took a little different path out to my house and hit a soft spot and the whole truck dropped down about a foot or more and scared the wiggling worms out of me and the year before that I dropped a back tire through a weak area by a spring one night in Feb as I was driving away from my house.

Lets hear some thoughts on this Please keep them positive!!!

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So how many more close calls do you need to answer your question? Years ago they used to say 6" was safe enough for a vehicle, but that would be in a perfect world. I dont even think in the middle of Feb up here in North Dakota is a sure thing. Even the Ice Road Truckers encounter soft spots and loose a truck every once in a while. So to answer your question, or give my .02 worth, any ice is not safe. There is a inherent risk to driving on any piece of ice. At the time the rewards out way the risk will be the safest time, but even then you never know. for me it is 12" before i drive on it. I have a lot of spots that are all walking distance. I drove on the lake once last year and really didnt even need to do it then either.

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Well I think last year somebody posted the Militaries specifications that they go by and that will blow you away.How much the WT has to be spread out the air temps they factor in every thing Pretty amazing stuff I don't know if someone could find that from last year or no but It would awnser all your questions on this.

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I had that same information somewhere Grand Dad, but I don't think I can find it right now. I will certainly look though. Mine was from the Canadian Government. I will see if I can find it.

The thing about ice is the thickness to strength ratio is not a straight line equation. As the ice grows thicker, it gets exponentially stronger. I have personally seen a car on 4" accidently, we didn't stay there very long though. The rest of the lake had 12 but that spot was thin. Be safe and use your best judgement is all anyone can really say.

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For me 5-6"" to walk on, 8" for Wheeler, 16" for suburban,--of good solid clear ice) I always assume there will be a spot that is atleast 2-3" less than the average thickness. And no I am never the 1st or 3rd guy to drive on the ice--maybe the 20th.

What amazes me is how many people park the brand new truck on 10" of ice next to a perfectly good road / shore or drive the new 1 ton with the 4 wheeler in the back of the truck bed while pulling a fish house on 12" and survive. HMMM.

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