Truckers News Celebrity Series 2011-2012
Ask Maya Sieber, a 5-foot-4-inch New Jersey resident (handle: ShortStack) why she’s a trucker and she’ll tell you she’s always been fascinated with big rigs. From the time she was a little girl, she could identify the make and model of any car or truck by the headlights.
Sieber worked anonymously until producers of History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers” found her blog where she wrote stories about trucking. When she got the email that they were considering adding her to the “IRT” crew, she balked at first. “I certainly wasn’t looking for fame. I was looking to be a good trucker,” she says. Although she only had three years trucking experience under her belt and a Kenworth tattoo on her neck, her passion for new challenges won out and she became the newest member of the franchise’s latest season.
Sieber joined Lisa Kelly, Tony Molesky and Dave Redmon for the fifth season of “IRT,” this time on the treacherous Alaskan Dalton Highway, while Hugh Rowland, Alex Debogorski and Rick Yemm drove on Manitoba’s ice roads.
The show finished filming in March and Sieber went back to work for a small, family- owned trucking company in New Jersey. Her life has changed for the better, she says, and she’s as passionate about trucking as she was before she joined the show. Sieber took time to chat with Truckers News.
What’s a nice girl from Jersey doing driving a big rig?
I knew I wanted to drive a big truck since I was 5 years old. It was a childhood dream that I made a reality.
How did your family take it when you told them you were getting your CDL?
I never told anyone that I wanted to be a truck driver until my mom called me on my lunch break when I was on my way to take my written test for my CDL. She sounded a little apprehensive when I told her but she has grown to be very proud and supportive of my career and my success.
Tell us how you got hooked up with “IRT.”
I had written a few articles on safety and trucking, emphasizing the need to educate motorists about sharing the road with big rigs. My goal was to educate America on what a truck driver’s purpose is and why we do what we do. I wanted to explain why we deserve respect and recognition. I was found by my blog and asked to be on the show.
TN: With only three years driving experience, how’s the learning curve on the Dalton?
MS: I’ve heard quite a few people comment on how someone with just three years driving experience could drive the Ice Road and be as successful as someone with 20 years experience. However, I believe it’s the mental approach to driving a big rig. Is it your passion? Your calling? Your dream? I believe it takes more than just knowing how to drive a truck to be excellent at doing so. I can confidently say I can drive a big rig anywhere in the world. I didn’t do this show for the fame or the money, I did it for the experience and I definitely learned things in trucking that I would never learn otherwise. It is a totally different way and style of driving.
TN: You played the role of rookie. How did that go?
MS: I didn’t mind playing the role of the rookie at all! Even a truck driver with 10 years experience will be considered a rookie when they start trucking at a new company. I was open to learning all that I could. I would be foolish to go up there with a “know it all attitude.”
TN: Did you have any really scary moments on the Dalton or is it mostly staged?
MS: The first thing that went through my head when I saw the Dalton was the show doesn’t do justice to how scary and dangerous the road really is. It also doesn’t capture the beauty of Alaska, not even a photo does.
TN: What are the perks of being an IRT?
MS: So far the greatest benefit of having done the show was definitely an amazing experience to last a lifetime but also be able to go to truck shows around the country and meet fellow truckers. That was a goal I had years ago and it has become a reality. I’m so thankful that I have more freedom to go to truck shows, meet with truck drivers. More freedom. It’s fun.