Chain up! Season 3 of this gripping HISTORY™ series gets plenty of traction from its setting, the more than 400-mile "gauntlet of terror" known as the Dalton Highway. Said to be the most dangerous road in North America, the Dalton has reportedly claimed a life for each of its miles. "If the curves don't get you," the narrator intones in a dramatic John Wayne-like drawl, "the avalanches will." The drivers, a right-stuff bunch ("They don't pay us this much because it's easy," one proclaims), have 12 weeks to deliver more than 6,000 loads to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields before the ice roads thaw. Along with familiar grizzled ice road veterans Hugh and George from the show's first two seasons, season 3 shifts gears with its first female driver, the attractive Lisa Kelly, a motocross champion determined to prove herself as a heavy hauler in this male-dominated profession. The competition between the drivers to see who can make the most runs really takes a back seat to the potential calamities that await beyond every curve and over every steep incline. "Pick the wrong gear, you wash out," the narrator cautions, "hit the brakes too hard, you end up in a ditch." The road, it is said, never lets up, and neither does Ice Road Truckers
. Photos of horrific crashes and computer-generated re-creations of serious accidents amp up the drama, but (spoiler alert), beyond tense moments driving through blinding storms or experiencing equipment malfunctions, the drivers emerge from this punishing season unscathed. Ice Road Truckers
will especially appeal to truck enthusiasts who may have grown up with the Road Construction Ahead
and There Goes a Truck
videos. These drivers do some serious hauling (45,000 pounds is considered a light load) and it is fascinating, for example, to watch how 16-ton pipes are loaded and secured onto a flatbed. A feature film inspired by the series is reportedly in the works, but there's nothing like the real thing. --Donald Liebenson
Just when you thought trucking couldn't get more dangerous, the new season of Ice Road Truckers
brings you to the most treacherous landscape on earth: Northern Alaska. In Prudhoe Bay (250 miles north of the Arctic Circle), a network of ice roads in the tundra criss-cross river systems and open ocean to connect America's booming North Slope oil fields to dry land.
Every winter, truckers have less than three months to shuttle critical supplies over the ice. The only problem is that there's just one way to get to this remote location: 400 miles of ice-covered, mountainous terrain known as the Dalton Highway. The Dalton is the lifeline to Alaska's oil industry. It's also the most dangerous road in North America and has claimed the lives of more than 400 people since it was built just 30 years ago.
The next chapter in the hit HISTORY™ series returns this season with veteran drivers Hugh Rowland and Alex Debogorski, new drivers -- including the show's first female trucker -- and more heart-stopping adrenaline than ever before.
Volume 1 (4 episodes, approx 188 min)
Deadliest Ice Road:
See how returning titans Hugh 'The Polar Bear' Rowland and Alex Debogorski prepare for the unfamiliar and infamous Dalton, an epic 414-mile road of solid ice that leads from the truck yards of Fairbanks to the fabulously rich oil fields of Prudhoe Bay.Rookie Run
: Ice road truckers Lisa Kelly--the youngest of just three women on the Dalton--veteran Jack Jesse, and novice Tim Freeman test the tight corners and steep hills of the ice road as a recovery crew navigates a massive operation to recover a load of desperately needed lead-acid batteries from a toppled trailer.Canadian Invasion:
Instructors accompany Hugh and Alex on their first trips to Prudhoe Bay; Lisa Kelly navigates her first heavy haul through a deadly Arctic storm; and Jack Jesse encounters a passenger vehicle stranded in a ditch. Will he risk damaging his high priority load of pipe to save those stranded from the sub-zero cold?Blinding Whiteout:
It’s week four into the winter season when a massive storm blows in and stops all traffic on the ice road. Veteran George Spears and rookie Tim Freeman encounter treacherous challenges at Atigun Pass, Lisa is forced to take on the brutal storm alone, and Hugh and Alex take their first solo journeys up the ice.
Volume 2 (3 episodes, approx 141 min)
: A foot of fresh snow obscures the road south but two truckers decide to set out for Fairbanks before the snowploughs arrive. Following in Jack’s tracks, Lisa assumes she’s safe – until her brakes suddenly fail. In the meantime, Hugh and Alex race to finish their first solo runs up the Dalton.Arctic Ice:
Tied shift-for-shift, Hugh and Alex duel for North American ice road bragging rights in an epic 500-mile race; Lisa Kelly tries to break into the elite 'Heavy Haul' division; and, with a broken engine and winter storm closing in on him, Tim Freeman is just trying to survive his rookie season.Wicked Weather:
Following a record day of snowfall, George Spears and Tim Freeman decide to push on to Deadhorse despite the dire forecast but run straight into the storm just 25 miles from their destination and are forced to slam through huge snowdrifts to make it to safety.
Volume 3 (3 episodes, approx 141 min)
The race is on and Jack Jesse is first out of the gate with one of the most critical loads of the season – two 46,000-pound tanks worth $300,000. Despite help from a fellow expert, one of the giant tankers slips off the forklift and slams into the ground. Will his assignment be over before it’s begun?Turn and Burn:
With just three weeks to go, Alaska’s truckers are pushing it to the limit to get the freight to Deadhorse before the season comes to an end. As Hugh tries to stay one load ahead of Alex, he’s stopped by the DOT and his license is suspended for keeping poor records in his logbook.Ocean Run
: Lisa Kelly decides to convoy on her next load with George Spears and Tim Freeman but on the road grows impatient and jumps out in front. When her truck spins out after shifting too quickly on a hill, Lisa has to back down – leaving traffic in both directions at a complete standstill.
Volume 4 (3 episodes, approx 141 min)
Busted Parts & Breakdowns:
With only two weeks left of the winter season, the race is on to deliver the remaining 350 loads before the ice roads melt away. But this late in the season, truckers are besieged by mechanical breakdowns, and a volcanic eruption in southern Alaska has put unexpected pressure on this remote road.Race for the Finish:
Eager to get one last run in before the season ends, the truckers are not in for an easy haul. Lisa Kelly accepts a volatile load of high explosives to stay in the running in the 'Dash for Cash,' while yet another tough run gives rookie Tim Freeman the experience he needs to start driving solo.Arctic Thaw:
As the final 72 hours of the ice road season tick away, legendary driver George Spears calls it a career, Lisa Kelly makes a harrowing 300-mile run with no brakes, the rivalry between Alex and Hugh comes down to the final load, and polar bears – the real ones – shut the road down in front of Jack Jesse.