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Rodger Murray
Rodger Murray

Rodger Murray was interviewed on November 4, 2006 by Marie Mitchell and Jessica Brooks at the offices of Sourdough Express in Fairbanks, Alaska. In this interview, Rodger talks about being a truck driver on the Dalton Highway (Haul Road), dealing with a rough road and challenging driving conditions, and the community and camaraderie formed by the truckers.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2006-28-22

Project: Dalton Highway
Date of Interview: Nov 4, 2006
Narrator(s): Rodger Murray
Interviewer(s): Marie Mitchell, Jessica Brooks
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) Personal background

2) First trip on the Dalton Highway, and changes made to the trucks for the Dalton Highway

3) His first truck, seasonal issues with the Dalton Highway

4) Names of the geography along the Dalton Highway, differences between driving in Alaska and the Lower 48, and the truck drivers' community

5) Truckers he remembers, propane runs, and changes to the Dalton Highway

6) Preparing for the Dalton Highway, dealing with fatigue, the length of the drive, and drivers' methods of dealing with the challenges

7) Customizing trucks to run the Dalton Highway, different types of trucks, training truck drivers, and problems with extreme cold weather

8) Truck driver turn-around rates, truck driving families, involvement of truckers' wives, and his relief at no longer driving the Dalton Highway

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Section 1: born -- Fairbanks, Alaska\ Sourdough Express employment -- begins 1981\ previous employment -- truck washer\ current employment -- dispatch office\ trucking industry -- changes of\ Dalton Highway\ Company employees -- treatment of\ local driving -- salaries of\ Dalton Highway -- salaries of\ truck drivers -- training of\ training program -- changes\ Prudhoe Bay, Alaska\ Dalton Highway -- first trip|

Section 2: Dalton Highway -- first trip\ Dalton Highway -- fears of\ Dalton Highway -- issues of\ trucks -- changes in\ trucking -- overconfidence\ Dalton Highway -- 1991\ truck drivers -- individual trucks\ trucks -- customizing of\ Prudhoe Bay, Alaska\ trucks -- minimum fuel requirement\ fuel requirement -- reasons of|

Section 3: first truck -- issues of\ truck -- decorating of\ spring -- mosquitoes\ Fairbanks, Alaska -- weather\ Prudhoe Bay, Alaska -- weather\ break up -- issues of\ road conditions -- break up\ Dalton Highway -- big road\ Department of Transportation -- road maintenance\ winter -- challenges of\ cold weather -- truck problem\ cold weather -- emergency list\ fall -- favorite season|

Section 4: Dalton Highway -- hill names\ truck drivers -- radio communication\ Dalton Highway -- Finger Mountain\ road -- conditions of\ truck drivers -- families of\ truck driver families -- challenges of\ truck driver -- community\ Dalton Highway -- Hill Top, Alaska\ Coldfoot, Alaska -- socializing\ Prudhoe Bay -- Mile 62\ truck driver -- waiting of|

Section 5: Sourdough Express\ Hendrickson, Cliff -- truck driver\ radio -- conversations\ truck -- propane\ pipeline -- RGV valves\ access roads -- issues of\ Cat -- assistance of\ Fairbanks, Alaska\ Prudhoe Bay, Alaska\ propane run -- length of\ Dalton Highway -- Happy Man Hill\ Dalton Highway -- changes|

Section 6: Dalton Highway -- preparation for\ trucks -- maintenance of\ trucks -- equipment of\ truck driving -- rest stops\ Dalton Highway -- length of\ truck driving -- attention to\ Burt, Bob "Tater" -- truck driver\ Smallwood, Dave -- truck driver\ Chuckhold Gazette -- newsletter|

Section 7: trucks -- customization of\ truck companies -- cooperation of\ GPS -- use of\ trucks -- types of\ Prudhoe Bay, Alaska\ truck drivers -- training of\ Dalton Highway -- changes\ truck -- maintenance of\ truck -- knowledge of\ cold weather -- issues of\ truck driver -- personalities|

Section 8: truck driver -- retention of\ truck industry -- turn around\ (Jewsack) family -- truck family\ King family -- truck family\ Alaska Native truckers -- Dalton Highway\ Alaska Native Truckers -- Household Moving Division\ young drivers -- benefits of\ Prudhoe Bay, Alaska\ Fairbanks, Alaska\ trucking families -- location of\ Anchorage, Alaska\ truck drivers -- wives of\ truckers wives -- involvement of\ Dalton Highway -- dislike of\ truck driving -- enjoyment of|