Located in the Mackenzie River Delta region of the Northwest Territories, Canada, the Mackenzie River ice road runs north from the town of Inuvik over hundreds of miles of frozen river and sea. The road has several branches, which the Ice Road Truckers follow to reach their major destinations: the town of Tuktoyaktuk, which like other outlying communities relies on the winter road for critical supplies, Wurmlinger Barge, and Mallik and Langley stations. Prior to the opening of the road in 1981, the only wintertime access to this area was via dogsled.
ICE ROAD TRUCKERS is a story about adventure, perseverance, human ingenuity and most importantly DANGER. Every day the truckers hit the ice roads they are taking their lives into their hands. One miscalculation of the road, bad weather or an unseen road hazard can mean the difference between life and death. If a rig breaks through the ice and sinks into the freezing water, the trucker has less then a minute before they will freeze to death. Ice Road Trucking is not for the faint-hearted.
Winter is the BIG MONEY months for our truckers. They push through brutal temperatures and drive more perilous roads than the rest of the year. The drivers’ families stay behind waiting out the season, never knowing if their loved ones are safe. The short operating window, extreme arctic conditions and billions of dollars at stake combine for a high risk, high reward ice road season.
Through the eyes of our cast we will learn the dangers of building & driving the ice roads and the importance of maintaining them. The job is not only risky, but it also has the extra pressure of an unforgiving delivery schedule. Our drivers have a short season and the clock is always ticking.They must deliver as many loads as possible before the treacherous ice roads melt.
Vital new ventures in natural gas and gas hydrate are at the mercy of these ice roads as their exclusive method of transport for their lifeline of heavy machinery and supplies. Millions of dollars are at stake this winter; if the deliveries are not made, the projects will not be completed and revenue will be lost for the town, the truckers and the trucking companies.
This season, Ice Road Truckers is in the remote communities of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, over 100 north of the Arctic Circle. Two clients, the Mallik Gas Hydrate Research Project and MGM Energy, rely on the short ice road season as the sole supply for their energy ventures. In about two months, or until the ice roads melt, these clients collaborate with three competitive trucking companies who must work together to move hundreds of heavy and oversized loads over frozen river and ocean water through fatally cold and often dangerous storm conditions.
No matter what the driver’s experience is as an ice road trucker, taking frozen ocean roads north of the Arctic Circle is a unique and harrowing experience. Even the most seasoned truckers will find themselves challenged by polar conditions, isolation and the lack of creature comforts.
Four familiar faces return from last season–hardy ice road veterans Alex & Hugh and Rick & Drew, who did not make it through last year’s ice road.
Unlike last season, this season all the drivers are on an even playing field and Hugh is no longer the boss of Rick & Drew. Our returning drivers will now be working under new management and they will have to prove their mettle on unfamiliar and dangerous ice roads. This season the truckers will be driving on unknown river and ocean ice roads, which have different hazards, constraints and conditions than the lake ice roads that they are well accustomed to.