We’ve decided to watch a few episodes of the most dramatic truck driving reality TV show around, Ice Road Truckers, to see if anything could be relatable to NTB Truck drivers.
Ice Road Truckers vs. NTB Truck Drivers: Do we have anything in common?
While reality shows like this are made to be dramatic, there are important safety messages throughout the show that are helpful for any driver. A common theme is that being prepared for the unexpected is really important. For us in the Midwest, being prepared for those winter storms that can hit hard and fast is crucial. Keeping your emergency kit well stocked at all times will help keep you safe in the event of a pile up ahead of you. Having some extra snacks and water can also keep you more comfortable when traffic comes to a halt.
Winter weather can be difficult to drive for both NTB drivers and Ice Road Truckers. Breakdowns are very common in the Arctic, due to extreme conditions and older equipment used for ice road treks. While we’re not in the Arctic, our winters are nothing to sneeze at. Where we differ from the older trucks on the show can be seen in our fleet—NTB prides itself in keeping our equipment well maintained and safe for long hauls, no matter the weather.
Staying healthy as a truck driver is another common theme we found when watching Ice Road Truckers, from physical to mental health. Watch for our final blog post in a series of three on staying fit and healthy. If you missed them, read the first two posts on Healthy Diet and Exercise for the Truck Driver for helpful hints on healthy living on the road.
Ice Roads: Why are there Roads on Rivers and Lakes?
In the show, the truck drivers are traversing some very scenic, yet potentially dangerous ice roads. Did you know that the weight and movement of a loaded semi truck on nearly 40 inches of ice creates waves in the water below? The wave can then get ahead of the truck and cause a huge fracture in the ice if the truck is going too fast for that type of driving. Some really remote areas are without proper roads, but still need to have shipments brought in. When water is flowing, shipping by boat is manageable, but when the water freezes, those waterways can become roads with ice thick enough for a semi truck with cargo. According to an article in Motor and Wheels, ice needs to be 40+ inches thick to support the weight and movement of a loaded semi.
Did You Know There’s an Ice Road Right Here in the Midwest?
There are only a handful of ice roads in the United States meant for more than just snowmobile traffic and one of them is on Lake Superior—connecting Bayfield Wisconsin to Madeline Island.
Check out this video of a passenger vehicle making the three-mile drive across the largest of our Great Lakes.
The Human Component of the Trucking Industry
We’re not going to lie, after watching Season 2 of Ice Road Truckers, we are a little overcome with emotion over Alex and his health issues. This makes us think of the drivers for NTB and how much we value you.
As a young new driver, access to health insurance may seem like it’s not really a big deal. After all, you are healthy now and don’t anticipate that status changing for a long time. Things happen though, and a trip to the emergency room—whether work related or not—can hit the pocketbook hard. NTB understands the importance of a robust benefit program which includes access to our health insurance plan. This is one really good reason to apply with us as your employer.
If it interests you, Alex from Ice Road Truckers wrote a book King of the Road: True Tales from a Legendary Ice Road Trucker that might be a good read just before nodding off.
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