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20 Unbelievable Facts About ‘Ice Road Truckers’

Hello everyone and welcome back. Get ready to learn 20 unbelievable facts about the famous reality show, the “Ice Road Truckers.” Based in snowy, sub-zero Alaska and Canada, these truckers turned reality stars risked their lives driving in hazardous conditions. Even after 11 seasons and 10 years on air, viewers are still not aware of what really went on behind the scenes. This is Facts Verse Presents: 20 Unbelievable Facts About ‘Ice Road Truckers’. Don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more. Click the notification icon to stay in the know every time we upload.

The Ice Road Truckers aired on the History Channel from June 2007 to November 2017. With 10 years and 11 seasons, viewers got to experience all the dangerous, life-threatening situations the cast endured on a daily basis. The show followed drivers as they crossed frozen lakes in isolated territory. However, there were countless secrets hidden out of view from viewers. Let’s plunge in with number twenty.

NUMBER TWENTY: Stuck For Hours

The remote roads truckers used to travel were isolated and deserted. If the vehicle broke down, they were often stranded for hours on end. A prime example of this was when Lisa Kelly turned off the truck’s engine. This was a major mistake as the truck had difficulty starting back up again. In those harsh conditions, there is no margin for error. With freezing temperatures, ice, and a lack of available help, one mistake can be the difference between life and death.


Most viewers nowadays are used to reality shows fabricating drama in order to boost ratings. However, that was not the case when Hugh Rowland was injured on the road. He was injured during an accident as a passenger. In fact, the vehicle belonged to an assistant for the reality show. Rowland was recognized as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable drivers on the show. He earned a reputation for reliability. He was injured even though he was not driving, as road conditions are beyond immediate control.


Hugh Rowland sued the production company responsible for the show over these injuries. He sued for his medical costs after the crash. In fact, he cited the crash prohibited him from living a normal life such as returning to work and being a husband to his wife. The real-life consequences these truckers face is a reminder that regardless of experience, you can still be the victim of a crash… and sue for it.

NUMBER SEVENTEEN: Fake Opening Scenes

Now, most people are aware reality shows are scripted to a degree. Not every scene is 100% authentic. This was the case for the opening scene of Ice Road Truckers. The first visual shows trucks spinning out of control, veering off the road, and falling through frozen ice. These intense, alarming, and dramatic visuals were fake and staged. The purpose behind them was to attract viewers and keep them interested in the upcoming episode.


While the visuals from the opening scene may have been fake, the job was undoubtedly dangerous. The occupation of ice road truckers is hazardous, threatening, and features real-life consequences. Not only are the road conditions harsh, but the number of vehicle breakdowns are also high due to the cold, freezing weather. In the event of a breakdown, the truckers are susceptible to hypothermia.


The camera crew for the show had to get the best for television. However, the process of filming was risky. They risked their lives to attain the highest quality visuals and audio. Each truck was followed by another truck used for production. The cameramen were even been hanging off the side of the vehicle, attempting to capture the best image. This risked their personal safety and was done in the name of the show.


Other truckers in Alaska who were not on the show said producers exaggerated the number of accidents that occurred on the ice roads. Some truckers claim ice roads see fewer accidents than traditional highways. The show never commented on this, however, some truckers remain unswayed the show is scripted.

NUMBER THIRTEEN: Health Problems

If a trucker had health problems, they were not allowed on the show. The reason for this was due to government rules. For example, a trucker suffering from stress or pancreatitis has to stay home and rest. They are not allowed on the road with the other drivers. There are strict and rigid laws governing the rules of truck drivers and their health. This was the case for Lisa Kelly and Steph Custance. Both cast members had to sit out on various occasions.

NUMBER TWELVE: The Passing of Darrel Ward

Darrel Ward was a cast member of the show and a husband to his wife Lisa Kelly. Ward passed away in a plane crash in 2016. Kelly stepped away from the show to grieve and mourn the loss of her husband. Ward was flying a small plane that was set to land for filming. His co-pilot was also killed during the accident. Upon arrival at the Rock Creek Airport in Montana, the plane crashed. The plane crashed into eastbound lanes, located on Interstate 90 and caught fire. Ward was 52 years old.

NUMBER ELEVEN: Fans Try To Recreate The Show

Die-hard fans of Ice Road Truckers have risked their lives hoping to take on the roads just like the cast members of the show. This has proven to be dangerous and has yet to land them their own TV show.

NUMBER TEN: To Script or Not to Script?

The debate on whether the show was scripted or not is still ongoing. While we can say for certain some elements were scripted, a former trucker of the show has a different opinion. He claims the show was fake and staged. He says the producers instigated and provoked arguments between drivers in order to capture some real-life drama. The goal of this was to make the scenes more exciting and riveting to viewers. He said he was fired in order to make for a dramatic exit on the show.


The show apparently hired new, inexperienced truck drivers for the sake of entertainment. Producers introduced young faces to the camera in order to build excitement and drama. For example, Steph Custance was inexperienced in her first season and was not ready for the harsh reality of Alaskan and Canadian roads.


The cast members of the show earned less than other reality stars. The developer of the show, Thom Beers, said he wanted to pay cast members a normal salary, so they remained humble, blue-collar workers. Beers believed if cast members were paid a lot, they would lose their authenticity. Reality stars of other shows have been reported to earn anywhere from $10,000 per episode to $100,000 per episode. The cast of Ice Road Truckers were not paid the same, which led to some controversy.


The cast members not only earned less than most other reality TV stars, but they were also banned from signing endorsement deals and sponsorships. In fact, it wasn’t until the show ended that stars like Lisa Kelly were able to profit off their TV appearances. This strict and unnecessary stipulation caused major backlash against the show.

NUMBER SIX: Do Not Enter

Not every community wanted the attention that came with the cast of Ice Road Truckers. This was certainly the case when the cast wanted to film on Tibbitt to Contwoyto ice road. Locals immediately refused and created a rule banning filming once they got word of the show’s arrival. There are a variety of reasons why the locals did not want the cast on their roads. Nonetheless, they were not able to show the road on camera.

NUMBER FIVE: Real Tension

While it is true producers instigated, provoked, and amped up arguments between cast members for the sake of television, certain co-stars did not get along in real life. When you put a group of people together, a few are bound to dislike one another.

NUMBER FOUR: The Troublemaker

Rick Yemm was seen as the troublemaker on the show due to the fact he didn’t get along with most of the cast. In fact, he was very vocal about his dislike for G.W. Boles and Lisa Kelly. Interestingly enough, they became successful even after the show ended, while Yemm did not. Even though producers stirred up drama, Yemm was never an enthusiastic participant in the group.


According to cast members, they were given trucks in bad condition. Driving in some of the harshest weather on earth requires trucks to be strong, fueled, geared, and ready to go. Even the smallest fault could lead to major, life-threatening consequences for both the trucker and other vehicles on the road. The smallest issues could snowball into breakdowns or accidents, with sub-zero weather. Ice Road Truckers portrayed the image that each driver owned their own truck, however, this was far from the truth. The trucks were actually supplied by larger companies. The cast members were usually not given trucks in good enough condition.

NUMBER TWO: Speed is Fatal

If cast members of the show were caught speeding, the consequences were monumental. As we mentioned before, the trucking industry has strict and rigid rules regarding driver conduct. The purpose of these rules is to keep everyone on the road safe. However, when it comes to ice roads, the speed limit is typically around 10mph. If a trucker is caught speeding, they will likely be immediately banned.

NUMBER ONE: The Devil Is In the Contract

As we mentioned before, the contracts issued to cast members were rigid and intense. However, we may never know just how controlling they really were. According to sources, the producers had full control over how frequently each cast member appeared on-screen, what they said, and how they were portrayed. Apparently even their dialogue was controlled by producers to create the desired outcome, which was higher ratings and reviews for the show.

Thank you guys for tuning into this revealing video. We hope you have a new perspective on this popular reality show and what really went on behind the scenes. The show did give insight into the trucking industry and how they risk their lives for their occupation. Don’t forget to give this video a ‘thumbs up’ if you enjoyed and subscribe to our channel for more. We want to hear your opinion! Let us know down below which unknown fact shocked you most and what you think of the show after learning these 20 secrets. Thanks again and we’ll see you in the next one.

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