“At the top of the world, there’s an outpost like no other…and a job only a few would dare. The mission: To haul critical supplies across 350 miles of frozen lakes to Canada’s remote billion-dollar diamond mines. The challenge: to transport 10,000 loads in 60 days-before the road disappears. The rewards are great; the risks even greater. These are the men who make their living on thin ice.” This quote was made by Thom Beers at the beginning of the premiere episode of Ice Road Truckers, and it is the premise for the show which airs on the History Channel. The first season featured six truckers–Rick, Alex, Hugh, T.J., Jay and Drew–on the reality show. Although season 3 is going to begin on May 31, 2009, here are the top 10 episodes of seasons 1 and 2 to recap the highlights.
Ready to Roll (Season 1, episode 1)
The premier episode was viewed by 3.4 million people and was, at that time, the most watched original telecast on the History Channel. The six truckers were introduced. Drew goes into a ditch, Alex has break trouble and T.J. makes his first ice road run in whiteout conditions. A truck jackknifes and halts traffic.
The Big Chill (Season 1, episode 4)
A 50-ton fuel tanker flips over, blocks traffic and threatens fuel spillage. Meanwhile, Jay makes a delivery to De Beers diamond mines while worrying about his 15-month-old baby who has pneumonia. T.J. weatherproofs his truck with duct tape.
Midseason Mayhem (Season 1, episode 5)
Yet another fuel tanker overturns, posing traffic and environmental threats. Reckless speeding causes blowouts and Todd is actually banned from the ice road for speeding. Drew is in the shop with more truck breakdowns; T.J. gets a new rig and then nearly has an accident when he discovers he has no trailer breaks.
The Rookie Challenge (Season 1, episode 7)
Alex tests a new road and his truck becomes stranded when it loses traction on loose snow while trying to climb a hill. Drew runs out of diesel fuel, and then his fuel lines freeze. After numerous problems, Drew ultimately returns home. An old injury causes T.J. so much pain he is flown to Yellowknife for treatment. He later passes a physical and is permitted to go back on the roads.
The Big Melt (Season 1, episode 9)
T.J. drives on ice that is beginning to melt. Alex transports a 100-ton electrical unit, the largest load ever hauled on the ice. Jay participates in a special convoy to deliver essential supplies. Rick fears he may have frostbite after driving in a truck with no heat. Rick and Hugh have issues that leave their friendship in jeopardy.
The Final Run (Season 1, episode 10)
This is the finale of season one. Hugh is in an accident caused by being sideswiped by another truck. The ammonium nitrate he has on the truck leaks onto the ice and causes it to melt at an accelerated rate. Hugh drives a different truck to make a final run north. Alex competes with Hugh for the top load count. T.J. and Jay also deliver a final load and head home for the season.
Edge of the Earth (Season 2, episode 1)
Drew’s departure is delayed for various reasons, and he ultimately quits. The other drivers take their first loads out. A new driver, Eric, is introduced to the show.
Man Down (Season 2, episode 7)
Eric hears of a polar bear sighting and decides to stay clear of the area. Rick is reassigned to hauling garbage to Inuvik. Alex suffers from severe coughing fits and begins coughing up blood.
A Trucker’s Farewell (Season 2, episode 8)
Alex’s doctor warns he may have a heart attack if he continues truck driving, and so he decides to quit, leaving the show. Truckers Bear, Eric and Jerry continue making runs. Rick makes another garbage delivery to Inuvik.
Man vs. Ice (Season 2, episode 11)
Rising temperatures are quickly melting the ice, making it a race to the finish to haul loads to Langley. Rookie Devon is introduced to the show.
The World Crumbles (Season 2, episode 14)
Time is running out and ocean waters are closing in. Truckers Eric and Hugh are fiercely competing to remove all equipment from the Langley site and win the load count.