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  Aztec Peak Radio Repeater

Aztec Peak Radio Repeater


            Lt. Tim Scott asked for assistance to get three technicians and equipment up to Aztec Peak to repair the repeater at the lookout tower.  The tower is over 7600 feet and snowed in; no vehicles had been able to get there. 

            Tuesday, December 27, Lt. Scott followed me as I used the GCSO's two-and-a-half ton truck to tow their Snow Cat to the ADOT yard at Parker Creek on highway 288.  We left the truck and trailer at a secure area in the ADOT yard and returned to the Payson yard.  We loaded the TRSAR Arctic Cat on its trailer to prepare it for transport Wednesday. 

            Wednesday morning at 0600 we hooked the quad to Lt. Scottís truck and headed to Workman Creek.  At the ADOT yard I picked up the truck and trailer, and we headed on up to Workman Creek (FR487). 

            SR-288 has some quite steep sections, and at times the truckís maximum speed was 10 to 12 mph in low gear.  At FR-487 the dirt road was reasonably clear, so Lt. Scott went in to see if he could find a good place to unload our vehicles.  It turned out he did not get very far before ice and snow stopped him.  In order to get turned around in a fairly narrow spot, he had to unload the quad and physically push the trailer sideways to back up without jackknifing the trailer. 

            When he got back to the start of the road, we unloaded the Snow Cat and loaded both vehicles with gear.  The three technicians came up from Globe.  For some reason they put most of their equipment in the quad.  It had two big batteries, a generator, a big roll of coax cable, three large tool boxes, and two ice chests loaded in back.  They put a chain saw in the Snow Cat.  Lt. Scott led the way in the Snow Cat, and I followed in the quad with one passenger. 

            About one mile in we came to our first tree across the road.  In all, we cut through six trees and pushed logs off to the side.  The remainder of trip was fine.  The elevation at SR-288 is 5520 ft, and the tower is at 7684 ft.  The tracked quad is the perfect vehicle for this snow, which Iím guessing was two- to four-feet in depth. 

            The technicians were able to fix the repeater in about three hours. They never could get the generator to run, but managed without it.  The return trip was uneventful.  There are a couple of very sharp turns on this road, and I thought the Snow Cat might have a problem with them.  I wasnít aware that it steers both front and rear axles at the same time.  The Arctic Cat has a very good turning radius, so the curves were no problem for either of us. 

            Loading the Snow Cat on the trailer is somewhat spooky.  The trailer needs to be quite level, as the Snow Cat has steel treads and the trailer bed is steel.  Wet snowy treads would be just as happy sliding sideways as Lt. Scott backed it onto the trailer.  Going back down SR-288 is very steep, and I stopped twice to let brakes cool.

We got back to the Payson yard at about 2000 hours. This was a good test of the quadís capability, and it is remarkable.


   JJ Logan  TR512        

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