We begin the episode with our two favorite Canadians, Hugh and Rick, who are now involved in the airport construction business. Polar Industries has been contracted to haul three modular buildings over 500 miles of ice road. Yes, moving 43 ton trailers that are 12 feet wide, 62 feet long over roads that are one step above snow mobile trails. With no trouble the journey should take about 30 hours….but there will be trouble. The three truck convoy starts its’ journey to St. Theresa Point with business owner Mark blazing the way in his crew cab Ford Raptor, business must be good! Time for our first casualty. Rick is warned about a large dip in the road via CB which he acknowledges in voice only and continues full steam ahead. Following a tremendous jolt Rick bends the rims of two trailer tires. “Why me?” he moans. Thankfully a mechanic is along for the ride. A large sledge hammer brings the rims back into a shape but what about the broken seal? Hugh quickly calls for a can of ether. After three failed attempts at self immolation the tire finally expands and makes a seal with a rim. There is much rejoicing. Unfortunately, the whole afternoon has been wasted on the repairs. The narrator informs us that a convoy is only as strong as its’ weakest link and that weak link is Rick. Well said. The following day the convoy is faced with a series of hairpin turns. A challenging task for any driver in any condition but especially difficult on narrow, snow covered roads with no shoulders and a 63 foot trailer. Rick makes the first attempt at a turn and fails. He backs up and fails again, and again and again. He eventually succeeded after 22 tries. Much swearing and moaning ensues, he screams into the radio “I didn’t sign up for this!”, Hugh rolls his eyes. I can’t really blame Rick for his frustration, as far as I can tell no one offered any help but to make jokes over the CB. Now the polar bear has his shot. He guns the engine and goes all out and makes it on the first try with no damage to the load. We are informed that Hugh’s International has 550HP motor hiding under it’s plain exterior. Tune in next week to see if they survive the ice crossing!
Back in Alaska we find Dave at the Carlise yard waiting to learn if he will ever fly solo. He is overjoyed to learn he will hit the road on his own but there is a little twist. He will drive the exact same truck that Hugh drove last year. The owner informs him that the attitude (Hugh’s) doesn’t come with the truck. Basically a warning to keep the ego in check. Out in the yard Dave finds C-1158 and begins to pout. It’s dirty, it’s beat, and Dave informs us that he has scrapped better trucks. He returns to the dispatch office with his complaints. An unnamed dispatcher listens with disbelief and then informs Dave that new drivers don’t start with new trucks so GTFO. At long last the open road welcomes Dave and we soon find him at the hill that caused him so much trouble in episode one. He decides that chains are necessary if he keeps the proper speed and does not miss a shift. Many have tried this path before only to fail. Is this the ego of Dave taking control or his years of experience? Maybe a little of both but he makes it, results are king. Over the CB comes the voice of Tony, the driver the unsuccessfully attempted to train Dave in the ways of the Dalton. Both make small talk and appear to bury the hatchet. We are treated to bit of southern wisdom via Dave. “You can chain two pit bulls to different trees and they we be friends all day, but chain them to the same tree and you will have trouble.”
And how could we forget Maya, IRT newest damsel in distress. Much like Lisa the past two seasons Maya is portrayed as scared woman full of “OMG’s” and cries of fear at the slightest thing. It remains to be seen if this is her real personality. This week she is on the road with trainer Phil and hopes to drive the entire 500 miles to Prudhoe with no problems. After a southbound truck passes too close on a turn Maya is visibly shaken and appears on the verge of tears. Phil politely takes control of the truck. Queue the sad electric blues guitar for the reflection moment of the show. Later in the evening we are treated to a Blair Witch style of night vision camera with more OMG’s and screams. Phil looks annoyed as he slumps over the wheel. Arriving in Prudhoe the pair remove a tire that blew on the road with much excitement, dust, and large power tools.
Alex has a small slot in the show this week. We follow as he delivers boats and a forklift to an isolated community. Loading docks are a rare privilege up north while wheel loaders seem to the common method of unloading freight. We are treated to scene of the forklift crashing off the trailer while be unloading. Many lulz are had. On the return trip Alex reflects on the danger of lake crossings and the split second reaction required by drivers to survive a truck breaking through the ice. Some stock footage is played of a DOT Ford plow truck being dropped through the ice. Needless to say, you have about 3 seconds to get out or you die.
All together this season is shaping up to be rather good. There is a nice diversity of drivers and locations which will hopefully keep the repetition of shots and fake drama to a minimum.