Tougher Than Tough
Truckers News Celebrity Series
Ice road trucker Alex Debogorski epitomizes the word tough, and in the sixth season of the History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers” and the upcoming season of “IRT: Deadliest Roads,” he takes on Canada’s remote Dempster Highway. With 30 years of driving experience, the legendary character, known as the Shock Jock,” tackles the brutal ice roads with professionalism and a sense of humor.
Truckers News: What’s it like driving with cameras following your every move?
Debogorski: Well, I think my mom took me off the boob too early, because I’ve always loved to be the center of attention. Sure, sometimes feathers get ruffled and I have to explain to new crewmembers how the rules of the road work. They always want me to stretch the limits of hours of service, but I set them straight.
But for the most part we get along and I get close to them. Often they also film shows like “Deadliest Catch” and are used to extreme conditions.
TN: Fans seem upset that Lisa and Maya didn’t return this season.
D: Well, I really liked Lisa. She’s a great gal and I’m sorry she’s not back. I don’t know the details but she’ll find something good. I didn’t work with Maya, but she seemed like a good person when I met her this year at a truck show.
TN: Do truckers recognize you?
D: Yeah, I get a lot of good comments when I’m out and about. I keep my CB radio on in my personal car and am amazed at how many truckers recognize me outside of a truck.
TN: Is the ice road as dangerous as the show makes it out to be?
D: It takes a lot of concentration and experience to drive under such tough conditions and extreme temperatures. I’ve been driving since I was 19 years old, but there are lots of other drivers who are equally as qualified to drive the ice roads. Still, I want to say that all truckers work under dangerous conditions every day no matter what road they drive. Throw in health issues and you have a highly risky job.
TN: In season two you had a serious health scare that included a heart arrhythmia and pulmonary embolisms and were medevac’d from the ice road. How are you doing now?
D: It’s hard to stay healthy on the road. I’m 59 years old and I had open-heart surgery when I was 48. I have changed my diet since the embolism, but like most truckers I struggle with my weight. My goal is to eat as healthy as possible, but it’s not always easy. I try to pack snacks like raw vegetables and start every day with a berry smoothie when I’m home. I recommend you get as much information as you can on nutrition and try to eat smaller portions, less sugar and fats and more fruits and vegetables.
TN: What do you do in the off-season?
D: My family life is my center. I’ve been married for 40 years, have 10 children and my 13th grandchild is on the way. Most of us live in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territory of Canada.
TN: So, what happens in season six?
A: You will have to watch it and see.
Chat Live with Alex Debogorski
Date: Check our Facebook page
(facebook.com/truckersnewsmag) this month for an update on when we’ll be chatting with Alex.
In advance: If you can’t attend, post your questions for Alex to our Facebook page anytime before July 10 at 5 p.m. EDT.