Right now in the US it is early August and snow is the last thing on my mind but this episode of IRT has snow, more snow and even more snow. More than any other episode this season the weather will prove to be a difficult foe to the drivers and their rigs. Lisa hits the yard early in the morning to hook up her trailer hauling an F-350 pickup. She is still smarting from her heavy haul demotion. The heavy blanket of snow makes it hard for her truck to get any traction, even with chains. She is eventually forced to raise the trailer up in order to get the fifth wheel locked. The rest of Lisa’s trip this episode is uneventful sans a windshield tarp that tries repeatedly to blow away from her captive pickup truck.
This season for Dave has been on gigantic struggle, a trend that will not change during this episode. He continues to fight a worn out truck, this time with a cab heater that doesn’t work. Dave attempts a road side repair with some duct tape and a over-sized load sign. He hopes to block of the radiator completely but the weather is just too cold and the tape will not hold. He forced to push on to find the trailer he was left behind the previous day. Dave laments for his days back in Alabama and believes he will “die cold and alone”. The weather is truly brutal and we are treated to shots of many flipped over trucks and DOT equipment struggling to clear the roads. Four hours later he finally reaches the trailer after sitting in a long line of trucks waiting for the road to be cleared.
Maya is provided with alot of screen time this episode as she is finnally cut loose from training and assigned her own truck. Rig 1301 is hers with all 1,328,860 miles and it’s very tiny sleeper. They don’t come much smaller and still meet D.O.T. standards. Her truck is another beat unit with a small engine and just a 10 speed transmission. But unlike others Maya realizes she is still just a rookie and has to work her way up the food pyramid. Refreshing. Of course, her truck has sat idle for weeks and the batteries are completely dead. Queue the in episode Ford commerical. The Carlile mechanic rolls up in a new shiny F-150. “Let’s she what this EcoBoost can do” he says as he begins to pull at the dead Kenworth. Product placement at it’s finest. Once the truck is up and running Maya heads to the local hunting store to pickup some necessities, namely a large knife. Maya goes on to explain her self defense strategy, kick, pepper spray, stab. Sound effective.
Based on this season I’m starting to think Alex should be proclaimed the patron Saint of the Ice Roads. While heading back to town he comes across another disabled vehicle. This time the driver is sober but the strut from the car has broken loose and is impossible to repair on the side of the road. Alex welcomes the family of four into his cab. He jokes that all he needs to do is deliver a baby in the cab of his truck and he will have done it all. Oh, and he is still waiting for that UFO sighting.
Freshly fired from their previous job, Hugh and Rick seek work at Polar Industries hauling large fuel tanks to isolated villages. They are paired with another driver who we see but is never clearly identified. The group is heading to Muskrat Dam, a location 2 days away from any cell phone coverage. To top things off there are no road signs to this village, it will be map reading the entire way. The convoy starts out by heading to Pickle Lake, population somewhat smaller than Toronto (as the welcome sign says). Gasing up for the trip Rick discovers his fuel tank strap is busted. There are no repairs available so a ratchet strap will have to make do. Much is made about how Rick will have to drive slower with more caution but he still finds time to do some power slides around the turns. No direction signs end up causing a huge headache for the group as their road soon dead ends at a frozen lake. They back track to the last turn off and come to an even larger lake. They cross only to discover upon reaching the other side they were supposed to go through the village of Round Lake not across the lake named Round Lake. Oooops, Rick tears up the map in frustration before they group crosses the lake for the 2nd time in just a few hours.
And there you have it. Maya appears to be coming into her own…finally. Lisa continues to sulk but can see her path back to heavy haul is through hard work. Dave has no luck. Rick and Hugh are the comedic relief while Alex is busy saving stranded natives.