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ice road truckers

In the same vein as The Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch comes Ice Road Truckers on The History Channel, a chronicle of the yearly trucking trials and tribulations faced in the great white north. The series focuses on the few weeks a year the ice is hard enough across many of Canada‘s lakes to allow for semi’s packed with supplies to make runs to outposts which would otherwise be inaccessible, including a De Beer’s diamond mine.


The ice is a treacherous place, and the first few episodes go into detail on some of the many problems facing truckers stemming all the way from moisture freezing in airlines to frostbite from failed heaters in the cabs. Its almost a thankless job, but full of pride as we get to see a stable of regulars gunning for each other, topping the number of runs laid down by comrades, and aiming to be the best of the best.

The series is shot in a quasi-documentary style focusing on the dynamics of trucking across the ice roads, how the roads are maintained and safety checked, and how the truckers are able to survive in the harshest environments on earth. On the flip side it also focuses on a handful of actual truckers and their issues with trying to complete runs and dealing with common problems like a broken pin in a transmission. Problems that would be easy to fix in the standard climates most of us are used to, but under the urgency of supply runs and the bid to make as much money as possible, become life threatening ailments.


A particularly interesting segment deals with how sunken truckers are rescued by a specialized squad of divers responsible for submerging themselves in the below freezing water to save lives. It becomes very obvious that this is not an easy, infinitely rewarding, or safe manner to make a living, but as the old saying goes, someone has to do it.

The limited run series is unique, although maybe not the best placed series for The History Channel, it is, nonetheless, an interesting and entertaining series and a welcome change to the typical occupational-reality fare focusing more on the interesting aspects of the industry rather than the overly dramatic lives of its participants.

Ice Road Truckers debuts Sunday, June 17, 2007 on The History Channel.