By Steve Schaeber, MACS Worldwide
One of my favorite weekend getaways is to go out for a day of off-road riding, and I had a chance to do just that a few weekends ago with some friends. We usually plan the same type of trip each time we go out, and this weekend was no different.
We gather in the morning, load up the truck and trailer, then drive out to our destination. We like to get out there around 11 am, and usually try to finish by late afternoon, around 5 pm or so. This time around, we went exploring on some new-to-us trails in upstate PA’s coal country, which is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year, even if you’re not into off-road riding. The trails up there just seem to go on forever.
About half way through our trip, we came upon an area which looked like a temporary “field shop” that was set up to work on some heavy equipment. There was an office trailer, a few pick-up trucks, some backhoes, and other machines. But the big stars of the site were these two Caterpillar D11N Impact Ripper Bulldozers. So, of course we had to go check them out.
One of them had just received a new set of tracks, as could be told by the new, still-painted tracks it had on it, as well as the old tracks still laying on the ground where they were changed. There was even one track cleat laying on the ground, which I decided to try and pick up. No way; not happening. I bet that one cleat alone weighed over 100 pounds. The other machine looked like it was in the middle of getting an engine swap or maybe an engine rebuild, as it was missing the 770 horsepower, 2,105 cubic inch 3508 V-8 Diesel engine that was supposed to be in there.
To me, though, what was most interesting about the D11N (besides the fact that the blade on this dozer is more than twice as wide as the length of my TW), is the air conditioning and cooling systems. The sheer size of the parts is amazing, and so I just had to bring a few pictures back to MACS. The radiator and fan are about as tall as I am. Even the condenser on this machine is about 5 feet long.
I could just imagine what the weight of the refrigerant charge is on a machine like this. Must be 3 or 4 pounds at least, due in part to just how long the refrigerant hoses are. Funny thing is, that the whole AC system is run by an A6 compressor, made by Alma Products. This is the same model and type of compressor that was used for years on many GM cars back in the 60s and 70s. I guess there’s really no reason to use a bigger compressor, especially since they only have to cool the cab where the operator works. But being a car guy, and seeing a “car-type” compressor on such a large piece of machinery was really cool.
The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The 34th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Power Up will take place January 16-18 2014 at the Sheraton New Orleans.