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Peakster 06-18-2007 12:38 PM

Peakster's "Giant Billboard" Thread
2 Attachment(s)
Attachment 606

Yup. That's the monster.

This is the vehicle that I use to chase after the hot-air-balloon when it's in flight. Sometimes it's interesting because the balloon goes wherever the wind takes it, but I need to navigate gravel country grid roads.

One time the balloon was launched in Biggar SK and it flew North-East. The pilot couldn't land because of swamp, barbed wire, power lines, fauna, etc. and ended up on the other side of the South Saskatchewan River in Raddison SK! I had to travel about 1/2 hour to find the nearest crossing!

I've also quickly discovered how to back up with a trailer. Fun times :rolleyes:.

The truck is gassed up quite often. Probably every 3 days or so. Detailed records are kept so making MPG calculations should be attainable. This truck gets horrible mileage (well, in comparison with the Geo), but at least it means I don't have to fill my car often :p.

ELF 06-18-2007 12:50 PM

Oh, so you are still alive! We were worried :)

MnFocus 06-18-2007 12:54 PM

LOL ! That's a sweet gig ya got there Peak! Lotsa driving (with someone elses vehicle AND gas !! ) not to mention chasing flying objects . Does this mean your official job title is " Balloon Dog" ?:p

Peakster 06-18-2007 01:05 PM


Originally Posted by MnFocus (Post 59108)
LOL ! That's a sweet gig ya got there Peak! Lotsa driving (with someone elses vehicle AND gas !! ) not to mention chasing flying objects . Does this mean your official job title is " Balloon Dog" ?:p

I think officially I'm just a 'crew member' as the pilot frequently refers to me as his crew. I've gotten so used to driving the truck these past 2 weeks that when I drove my Geo again, I thought I was sitting on the ground!

The balloon itself is a half-decent size: 90,000 cubic feet in volume if I remember correctly. The burners for the balloon use liquid propane (not vapor) and 4 hours of tethering rides for one town costs about $250 to refill the five 80 litre tanks used. An average barbecue at home will burn at about 50,000 btu, while the hot air balloon burns at about 1.6 million btu. Not exactly a gassaver mode of transportation :D.

You can see the hot-air balloon in action here.

MnFocus 06-18-2007 01:09 PM

Cool beans! I was just gonna ask for vid footage too !

repete86 06-18-2007 04:39 PM

Yikes! Will they let you aero mod the thing?

MnFocus 06-18-2007 05:02 PM

LOL I am gonna guess you are asking about the truck/trailer combo ?!!;)

MetroMPG 06-18-2007 05:58 PM

Neat job, Peakster!

Hockey4mnhs 06-18-2007 09:06 PM

that flame was HUGE!!

Peakster 06-19-2007 03:27 AM


Originally Posted by Hockey4mnhs (Post 59238)
that flame was HUGE!!

Yeah, it gets fairy warm if you're within about a 50 foot radius of the burners igniting :cool:. This morning's weather appears appears flyable, so we're going to do a flight here in town at about 6am.

Peakster 07-05-2007 07:55 PM

Tire blowout today
Today, the pilot and I washed the truck and checked the tires for pressure at Prince Albert, SK. The passenger side rear tire was only at 22psi (it has had a slow leak from the start) so the pilot boosted it up to 40psi.

we drove for about 3 hours from there and when we reached about 10 kilometres from Canora SK, the pilot said "we need to stop in Canora to inflate the tire; it's really flat".

I looked outside the exterior mirror an indeed it was very flat.

Not even 2 minutes after finding this out, the tire blew and we stopped at the side of the highway. We then tried to replace the tire with the spare, but the security bolt on the tire was stripped and we couldn't get it off. We ended up towing the truck & trailer to Canora and getting it replaced there after chiseling off the locking nut.

Anyways, appearantly the pilot was angry with me because "I told you to stop in Preceville to get it filled, and now we just wrecked a $200 tire", however I have no recollection of him saying I should stop at all. In fact, I had no idea that the tire was getting low until he pointed it out just 2 minutes before the blowout.

Anyways, I just needed to vent. It's kinda crummy that I pretty much have to be on call 24/7 (not even a weekend off to go home all summer), but the good part is that I should have made lots of money so far and the entire job itself is about 2/5ths completed.

Bill in Houston 07-06-2007 04:54 AM

Be a hero and buy a tire plugging kit and small compressor to keep in the truck.

Sorry it's been a hassle.

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