A Canadian automotive products company recently built a pretty cool truck, quite literally. It was made of ice!
Canadian Tire, in Zurich, Ontario, wanted to advertise the MotoMaster Eliminator Ultra battery that works at subzero temperatures. So they built a frozen truck using 14,000 pounds of ice. They also froze the battery to -40 degrees Celsius before using it to start the vehicle. During the test drive, the ice truck actually moved at a speed of 12 miles per hour for about a mile.
To create the Canadian Tire Ice Truck (as they call it), a team of professionals completely stripped the body off of a 2005 GMC Silverado. They fitted it with a steel frame, and ice sculptors were called in to chisel out the frozen vehicle around the frame of a regular chassis. “It was probably one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever done,” said Heidi Bayley, from Iceculture (the company that sculpted the truck).
The completed truck looked really neat – transparent, with a futuristic kind of feel. It was featured in a few Canadian Tire commercials before it completely melted away. You can watch some of the ads on the company’s website.
A behind-the-scenes documentary explains the making of the truck in detail. The voiceover tells us that there was initially a lot of confusion over whether they could build such a vehicle or not. But they made it work in the end. “I’ve lived here my whole life, and it’s a good way to test life in Canada,” said John Keddy, the ‘Chassis Frame Fabricator’.
The team faced several challenges in the process of making the ice truck. For starters, putting 14,000 pounds of ice on a regular truck frame meant that the frame had to be welded rigid. If it moved even a fraction of an inch, the ice would crack.
“We searched far and wide to find a truck that wasn’t rusty, a suitable candidate,” said Andrew Steckle, ‘Ice Truck Head Mechanic’. “We brought it into our shop, removed the body off of it, prepared it to run under its own power.” They had to make sure there was enough coolant in the engine, so the ice didn’t melt.
The ice used for the project was unique. “Unlike the ice cubes at home that might have a white center, which is actually air trapped inside of it, we removed all that air. So our blocks are crystal clear,” said Heidi. That’s what made the truck look super-cool.
After several rounds of testing to confirm that the ice on the frame fared well, the truck was finally completed and taken for a test drive. Not only was the Canadian Tire Ice Truck the first of its kind, it also set a world record.
I’ve never lived in such cold climate but for people who do, I’m sure having a frozen truck that starts is nothing short of a blessing!
Photos: Canadian Tire