I have always been a bit of a fan of reality TV, and although the History Chanel’s Ice Road Truckers Season 1, is not exactly Survivor, I do remember seeing previews for it and thinking, I have to see what the heck that is about. Not that the title isn’t self explanatory, because in the end, it pretty much says it all (who woulda’thunk?) but I wanted to know why they had a show about it (with 10 Seasons!). Ends up there are loads of interesting tidbits that I learned about these crazy guys that I think makes watching this show a bit more interesting then you may initially think.
The program basically follows a group of truckers (out of a few hundred who make this their profession per season) who put the pedal to the metal on actual roads made of ice between regular roads in Canada’s far north, in the Northwest Territories, hauling huge shipments of supplies and machinery, primarily to diamond mines, during the super short window where land access is available.
You did hear me right, these guys actually do drive on frozen lakes throughout their journey. The challenges with driving on ice, other than the obvious fact that it’s slippery, is that there is a careful coordination from the road dispatchers as far as spacing goes to make sure that the trucks are evenly placed so as not to stress the ice. They also can’t go too fast, as speeding causes underwater waves (yeah, it’s not solid ice O.O) and these underwater waves cause pressure that can cause breaks in the ice, which degrades the “road” and opens it up to the potential for a following driver to break through. They also can’t stop on the ice with the vehicles going for prolonged stretches because then the heat from the vehicle combined with vibrations from the idling can start to melt the ice or again cause it to break. So, with temperatures below freezing, if they do get a breakdown and can’t run their truck, they also can’t stay warm, so it could then put the drivers at risk to exposure to freezing temperatures. I know, good times eh?
And why do they do it? For the money, honey. They can make about a years wage over the two months that the driving season lasts before the road starts to melt.
If that’s not enough nail biting suspense for you, add in competitiveness between drivers, breakdowns, sleep deprivation (you get paid by the load, so the less you sleep the better you do), accidents, speeding and repair, health and weather issues. This offsets a bit of the repetitiveness you get of talking one on one with guys in trucks, as unlike other shows you do get a lot less interaction between the drivers. That doesn’t stop the drama though, as they can talk to each other during stops and on the radio. In the end what you get is a lot of iced up eyelashes and mustaches, people talking like, well, truckers (surprise! lol), and a first season that made the History Chanel’s record for most watched original telecast up to that point.
If you aren’t sure that watching this show is your thing but your curiosity is piqued by roads made of ice you can also find out about Canada’s ice roads from two of the drivers in that season in King of the Road: True Tales From a Legendary Ice Road Trucker by
So, have you managed to to catch a show or two? Sound like something you might want to try? Do you have experience with driving in icy conditions or on ice roads (shudder) and any stories about it? I’d love to know. 🙂
This weeks challenge update:
- Blog post 37/52 – Now only 15 left!
- Writing in the screenplay – This is going to happen again soon, I’m sure…
- Drawing – This too…
- Feet writing & drawing – This happened!!
See you all again soon…