Ice Road Truckers @ HistoryChannel.com
Ice Road Truckers
charts two months in the lives of six extraordinary men who haul vital supplies to diamond mines over frozen lakes that double as roads, revealing the virtually unknown occupation of ice road trucking, considered to be one of the world's most dangerous jobs.. The livelihood of many depends on these tenuous roads, which through the years have been responsible for the deaths of dozens of men.
With one hand on the wheel and one on the door at all times, always prepared for the ice to give way under the weight of their trucks, these drivers put their lives and financial security of their families on the line in an exhilarating dash for cash. The desolate white landscape stretches as far as the eye can see in a world where the land meets the sky at an invisible horizon, just miles from the Arctic Circle. The fascinating, yet little-known ice road trucking industry, stationed just outside of Yellowknife in Canada's Northwest Territory, is responsible for supporting the diamond mines there. Canada now stands as the third largest diamond producer in the world, housing an industry that rakes in $1.9 billion a year.
Each year, the many lakes of this region completely freeze over and engineers build an ice road over them that can withstand the weight of tractor trailers, hopefully. Jackknifing, breakdowns and accidents are commonplace. Last year, because of the effects of global warming, the ice road was closed early, leaving hundreds of tons of supplies stuck at the dispatch station. Since the terrain in this region is virtually impenetrable, and there are so few paved roads, the only way for supplies to reach the mines is by traveling over the ice road. The entire industry depends on the weather and the courage of the ice road truckers, who go 48-hour stretches with no sleep and who constantly hear the cracking of the ice right beneath their wheels.
Ice Road Truckers
focuses on six thrill-seeking drivers of this rarest of professions:
— Hugh Rowland - A rough around the edges 50 year old master trucker who has been in the business for 20 years. Hugh owns four trucks, driving one himself and hiring out three drivers for the rest.
— Rick Yemm - An employee of Hugh Rowland, this brash, tattooed trucker is in his second year on the job. Last season he drove one of the first loads over the ice road, when you can hear the ice cracking the loudest. That was nearly enough to make him call it quits, but he says he "was too stupid and too stubborn" and stuck around.
— Alex Debogorski - The legend of the ice road trucking community, he is entering his 26th year as a driver in Yellowknife. He's a street intellectual and proud father of 11 children and seven grandchildren.
— Jay Westgard - Widely considered to be the most talented driver of his generation, now 27, he started driving at 16 and owned his first truck at 18.
— T.J Tilcox - An ice road rookie, he hates the cold, hates the ice and is not here for the money, but for the "experience." The big question with him is if he has the wherewithal to navigate the road if and when he gets stuck in a whiteout overnight and must fight for his life as the cold creeps into his truck.
— Drew Sherwood - Drew has been driving trucks for years, but never on an ice road. He joined Hugh Rowland's team of truckers after answering an advertisement in the local newspaper and is confident that he'll have no problems adjusting from the highway to the ice.
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