What is Ice Road Trucking?
Reality television has a way of attracting attention to a previously mundane topic. Once a show catches on, the public becomes intrigued. Certain industries benefit from television phenomenon. The field of Ice Road trucking for example has been talked about more in the last few years than ever before. The show responsible for the popularity is History Channel’s part reality and part educational series, Ice Road Truckers.
It depicts the risky encounters ice road truckers face on the job as they carefully inch powerful machines across miles and miles of thin roads made of slippery ice. The job is obviously terrifying, nerve wracking, and requires a high level of training. However, the industry has seen a drastic increase in job position interest.
Ice road trucking has been called the “dash for cash.” This is because of the limited time out the year that specific supplies can be hauled to remote locations. There are only 2 to 3 months out of the year when some of these areas are not covered in rocks, swamps, or lakes. Air travel is an option, but the costly expense is too high for most employers’ budgets. With no possible transportation to get across these terrains, it’s up to ice road truckers to quickly transport the necessary products to the appropriate location in very little time.
Before the ice season begins, road crews are in charge of preparing the snow and ice for travel. For several weeks they use radar to calculate things like ice thickness to make sure it will hold the incredible weight of the ice trucks. The hurried preparation is to secure the safety of 600-900 trucks hauling over 10,000 loads at 20 miles per hour. The frenzied excitement of ice road trucking can’t be found in any other occupation.
So why are so many people eager to put their lives in danger? The answer is in the numbers. A recent study showed the average trained ice road trucker can earn up to an astounding $90,000 in just three months. It’s also extremely difficult for employers to find enough workers to fill the positions. In today’s economy, it’s hard to find a career that has a large salary and long-term job security on its side.
A rewarding career comes at a high price. I’ll break down the ice road trucker job description to give you a closer look at what it takes to take on the intriguing lifestyle.
Earn a CDL
Working as an ice road trucker requires a CDL. This can be achieved by attending a CDL program at a school or online. Driving experience in harsh conditions is also helpful for employment. However, many times an ice truck employer will pay for the driver to go through specific winter driving training. Ice road trucking employers expect their drivers to be extremely confident in their driving ability. Anything less could result in costly accidents and injuries.
Do the Research
There are obvious dangers involved with ice road trucking, but before you sign up for the job, be very aware of what specific risks you will come across. If you know risks and still want to want the job, the detailed preparation will keep you safe and calm your nerves when you get behind the wheel. Here’s a short list of some of the possible dangers:
- Frostbite: It’s a very probably risk when working in cold temperature regions. Truck adjustments and fuel stations will require some time waiting outside the vehicle. Thick and layered clothing will protect the skin against it.
- Animals: This can either be a terrific or terrifying part of the job. Ice road truckers are able to see some of the most unique animals on earth, but they can also be the most threatening. Staying alert and focused is crucial in case of possible run-ins with polar bears, moose, and more.
- Skids: Sliding on the ice is usually a daily occurrence. Ice provides little to no traction, and it can get out of control when a driver doesn’t know how to handle the situation. The more time a driver practices the braking methods necessary for these emergencies, the safer they will be in the future.
A career as an ice road trucker is one of the most dangerous yet rewarding lifestyles around. The job opportunities are abundant and the pay is substantial. This path of trucking is not for the faint hearted. A person interested in the extreme lifestyle should as much research as possible before taking the risky plunge.