I have to be honest, I am not sure I’ll be looking forward to next seasons round of shows. How many times can you talk to the same driver and get another angle of what his or her job is like. The episode that I watched included a “convoy” owner and his somewhat inexperienced drivers. The usual attitudes, problems and social life issues were “exposed” and weren’t too different from those of us who truck in the lower 48. The only real difference between what we do and what those guys up in the Yukon do is that they drive for a living on frozen lakes.
The thing I found most interesting about the Ice Road Truckers was the way they had to drive on the frozen lakes. I didn’t realize that the weight of a fully loaded truck caused a wave effect under the ice and when two opposing waves collide, it causes the ice to “blow up” in so many words. When the ice blows up, it causes an immediate hole in the ice and the trucks can fall through. Care must be taken to drive slow enough on the ice to prevent large waves under the ice and to slow down when passing another truck. Drivers also have to worry about thinning ice and weak spots caused by the constant movement of trucks over the ice. Another worry for the Ice Road Truckers is constant breakdowns in -50F degree weather. Did you know that if a truck idles on a frozen lake for too long, the constant vibration of the trucks idle will eventually cause cracks in the ice and the possibility of falling through the ice is very real.
Ice Road Truckers was very interesting from a “scientific” point of view. The constant road maintenance and methods of thickening the ice were very informative and gave me new insight into the problems faced by road crews who keep the ice roads open. As for life on the road and the personal problems faced by the actual drivers, it was probably not necessary to cover that much information in the show.
I am wondering if the producers of Ice Road Truckers were looking for “filler” to keep the show going? It seemed as if they took an idea from another show, Most Dangerous Catch, and added a trucking twist to the show. I can see viewers turning the channel when they realize that there isn’t much new information episode to episode. Unfortunately, it seems as if the camera people or producers of the show are glorified ambulance chasers looking for the next good shot of a truck falling through the ice or running off the road. If that were the premise of the show, I could certainly suggest that the producers spend a month on the winter roads of the mid-west or northwest.
As a professional driver, I respect the jobs the truckers of the Yukon do over the course of 60 days or so every winter, but I don’t appreciate the way the producers of Ice Road Truckers look for tragedy to sell the show. I just can’t give a “thumbs up” for Ice Road Truckers.
If you are a die-hard fan of Ice Road Truckers, here is a link to where you can purchase the entire first season on DVD: