With the show Ice Road Truckers becoming rapidly popular on television, a lot of people are left interested in the industry. But just what is ice road trucking, one might ask.
Ice road trucking is an occupation that is as dangerous as it is exciting. In the winter months, up in Canada, it gets so cold that lakes freeze, forming ice as thick as several feet. These are the ice roads, and these are what the truckers drive over. Generally, the ice roads that are traversed over are isolated to one specific region, the Northwest Territory. Most ice road trucking occurs in the same area, between Yellowknife and the many diamond mines up north. Every year, when the lakes freeze over, they’re groomed so that the trucks can pass over them and make it to the mines.
Of course, driving a several-ton vehicle carrying several more tons of cargo over ice is, to put it bluntly, dangerous. On many occasions, the ice can crack. And, as one could expect both from the name ‘ice road trucking’ and the fact that the ice roads are literally lakes that have frozen into ice so thick they can be driven over, it is very cold in the area. One of the biggest dangers of ice road trucking, aside from the danger of the ice roads themselves breaking, is dealing with the brutally cold winter weather. Extreme frostbite is very easy to get if one does not protect themselves.
Despite the dangers, however, there are many good incentives to being an ice road trucker. For one, it pays well. Really well. The ice road season is fairly short, lasting only two to three months on average, but during this time, a trucker can make anywhere from $40,000 to over $100,000. For just three months, that’s a damn good salary! Not to mention, because there is such a high turnover in the industry, anyone who comes looking for a job ice road trucking is almost guaranteed to get hired for one.
As well, that far north, there are a lot of things to be seen. The area itself is a veritable winter wonderland. Moose and polar bears and other kinds of wildlife abound. Because the area is untouched and virtually uninhabited, it’s a clearer view of nature than most people have the opportunity to see in their whole lifetime-even if most truckers just get to drive through it and never have the opportunity to stop.
Finally, aside from the salary and the wildlife, there is one other benefit to ice road trucking. And that is the feel-good sensation after having driven through such a rough terrain to deliver much-needed supplies to the people who make their living that far north.
So, while ice road trucking is a dangerous job, the benefits are often enough to outweigh the negative aspects. Either way, it’s definitely one of the most exciting professions out there.