Ice Road Truckers
2020 11 27 22 00
Hundred Ton Haul
Eric begins his day driving to Aput, ready to work on the rig move, but he is diverted to pick up a broken-down bulldozerstuck on the ice; the bulldozer can move slowly but not powerfully enough to do work. With the help of nearby mechanics, he loads it onto his trailer, drives it to theWurmlingerfor repairs, then heads for Aput again. Both Hugh and Rick draw waste-hauling jobs; Hugh takes his vacuum tanker up from Inuvik to offloadsewageat Langley, while Rick brings another load of garbage from Tuktoyaktuk to Inuvik. After Rick finishes his round trip, he pays a visit to his company’s safety officer and voices his frustrations about the perceived lack of respect from Doug and his coworkers.
2020 11 27 23 00
As the rig move enters its third day, there are still many loads to haul from Aput to Langley. While pulling a gas flarestack, Eric hears of apolar bearsighting near the road and makes plans to stay clear of the area, since several people have died in bear attacks over the years. The news quickly spreads among the truckers, and local wildlife experts equipped with snowmobiles and rifles are dispatched to ward off the threat. Bear takes a boiler onto the ice road, whose surface is now so rough that he makes a risky stop to check that his load is secure before proceeding to Langley.
2020 11 28 0 00
Lost on the Ice
With only a few loads left in the rig move, the pressure is on Jerry to finish the whole operation by the end of the day. He sends Eric out with a drilling mud pump and gives the last load to Bear—a tank for isolating and measuring the gas brought up from the drilling wells. Both truckers have to handle their loads carefully, and Eric’s low speed briefly causes a traffic jam that puts extra stress on the road. Once Bear pulls in at Langley, the rig move is complete and the crews hurry to get all the equipment assembled so they can start drilling.
2020 11 30 22 00
Man vs. Ice
The time has come to dismantle the Mallik site, even as crews are close to a breakthrough on harnessing the region’s gas hydrate fields. When springtime comes, there must be no traces of any human presence on the site. Eric picks up a camp shack bound for Inuvik, with the goal of completing two hauls in one day. In Tuktoyaktuk, Rick and second-year trucker Bill Thorbourne are sent to Mallik together. Bill’s truck soon develops problems with its heater, and the two men have to nurse their trucks along so he does not suffer hypothermiaorfrostbite. Upon reaching the site, Rick picks up a load of dirty snow and Bill takes on anelectrical generatorand three lighting plants. They reach Tuktoyaktuk safely; before Rick can clock out for the night, though, he is put onloaderduty and must unload Bill’s cargo. At Mallik, the crews succeed in extracting natural gas from the fields.
2020 11 30 23 00
Big Thaw , The
With less than two weeks to go in the season, the ice road is badly worn and getting thinner by the day, and every available trucker is called in to move loads. Eric and Hugh drive up from Inuvik, the former headed for the Wurmlinger to pick up a load of drill casings, the latter to Langley with his vacuum tanker to pump out the wastewater. As they return to Inuvik, Kurt climbs into an available truck and drives up to help in the effort, hauling back a snowcat and a survival shack used by the road crews. At the ice-locked Arctic Star barge, a headquarters for natural gas exploration crews, veteran trucker Jim Gattie picks up a three-trailer load to save time: two pairs of full fuel tanks and related supplies, all on sleigh runners. The strategy makes his drive especially hazardous, but he reaches the edge of Inuvik safely and stops to unload the sleighs so they can be dragged in one by one.
2020 12 01 0 00
World Crumbles , The
Now that natural gas deposits have been found at Langley, the top priority is to cap the well and move all the equipment out before the ice melts. However, the truckers must contend with both the thinning road and the water that has begun to flow up through the cracks. Rookie Devon Neff, making his first ice road run, and Hugh are dispatched from Inuvik to help with the job. Hugh picks up a load of rig mats and several large spools of cable, an unstable load whose weight distribution makes it difficult for him to keep traction on the wet, slick road. Meanwhile, just after Devon takes on two diesel fuel tanks and starts back, he is alerted to a severe water flow on the road directly ahead of him; he stops to re-secure his load, then proceeds slowly through the hazard. He and Hugh both make it back to Inuvik safely.
2020 12 01 22 00
As daily temperatures continue to rise and the ice road keeps melting, Jerry works at full speed to clear all the equipment from the Langley site. Every available trucker reports in for the job, including Devon and Hugh; the former gets a camp shack, the latter a load of crates and pallets, and both start out for Inuvik. The site’s derrick is loaded onto two trucks, just as in the move from Aput, but the drivers encounter a serious break in the road and must wait for a pilot car to escort them around the hazard. They reach Inuvik safely, as does Devon, who runs across some severe overflows of his own.
2020 12 01 23 00
Rookie Fumbles, A
On the final day of the season, there are still hundreds of tons of equipment to move within 12 hours. However, the road is now awash in water and literally crumbling away beneath the truckers’ wheels. In Inuvik, Rick seizes a chance to take one last load, a loader that is to be stored at Tuktoyaktuk until next year. Since he does not know how to run a winch, he builds an improvised ramp out of boards and tries to drive the loader up it and onto his trailer, without success. Rick’s supervisor, irritated by what he sees as Rick’s season-long lack of professionalism, fires him and threatens to have him arrested if he shows up again. The incident ends up with the supervisor swinging one of the boards at the cameraman filming the scene - narrowly missing him.
2020 12 02 0 00
Trucker's Farewell, A
After being Med-Evaced to Yellowknife hospital, Alex receives a grim diagnosis that could mean the end of his Ice Road season. Rick is also complaining of health issues, and again threatens to quit if his boss won't let him take time off to see a doctor. With nearly all of the rookies out for the count, the Arctic veterans take on the challenge of hauling the final loads of the rig move. Bear must load up the P-Tank, a critical part used to measure the amount of waste gas emitted by a drilling rig. And Eric sets off on a slow journey to transport a mud pump from Aput to Langley. Weighing in at 100,000 lbs., the massive size of this complicated piece of machinery requires a speed limit of just 16 mph--any faster and Eric would risk damaging the already taxed ice road.
2020 12 02 22 00
Season 2 Follow Up
The truckers look back at their experiences during the last ice road season and explain what they do now that they're off the ice.