Do You Have What It Takes to be an Ice Road Trucker?

Image via History Channel.

This could happen! Image via History Channel.

If you haven’t seen History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers,” you haven’t seen the extreme danger drivers put themselves through for two months, all for a big payday. With the imminent threat of avalanches, blizzards and 1,000 foot drop-offs, this is not a job for the faint of heart. If you are interested in the world’s most dangerous job, keep reading to see if you’re up to the challenge.

The Most Dangerous Job in the World

This job can only be done in the dead of winter when lakes are frozen solid and can hold the weight of heavy trucks. The most important thing to remember is that you need to always keep moving. It’s like being in the movie “Speed,” but instead of the smoke and mirrors of Hollywood, this is real life in Alaska. The ice can hold a 100,000-pound truck when it’s moving, but if you stop moving, the ice can only hold about 60,000 pounds of weight. This means stopping can lead to disaster for everything and everyone inside.

If you are set on pursuing this career, I suggest taking some earplugs because listening to the ice crack all around you can be unnerving. And, if you don’t get stuck on the ice, you still might get stuck in a blizzard with temperatures below -50 degrees Fahrenheit. This means you need to bundle up. Also, be prepared to spend a few days alone in the frozen tundra until you can get moving again.

Hugh Rowland, Ice Road Trucker.

Hugh Rowland, Ice Road Trucker.

Do You Have the Guts?

This job is not for everyone. In fact, it’s barely for anyone. That’s why turnover is high, and there is never a surplus of truckers who can do the job. Companies pay for your training, but you better be sure you have what it takes before you get out on the ice. Some quit before they reach their first stop, which means returning the big advance (up to $15,000) ice truckers get to help out their family while they’re out on the ice road.

If you still think the danger isn’t real, you’re in for a big surprise. During your first ride, expect to see crosses marking spots where truckers were caught in storms or avalanches lining the road. Like I said, this isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to both be a trucking expert and have a “whatever it takes attitude” to stay alive and reach your destination.

The job also can be difficult on your family, who will be on the edge of their seats, following your every move via GPS. You need a strong, supportive family because there is a lot of fear and worry involved.

The Payoff Is Worth It

If you haven’t been scared off yet, congratulations. Now, you’re in for the best part—the reward. If you can handle the danger and fear, the reward is worth it. In just two months of driving, you can earn up to $80,000. As a rookie, you’re likely to earn less than half of that, but once you start getting assigned the big loads, you can earn a full year’s salary in just a few months. And, after that type of ordeal, you deserve a vacation by the beach.

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