'On those wrecks just like a vulture'

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

The top three photos on the right are from my 2006 ride along Alaska’s Dalton Highway with the smiling trucker, George Spears. It was published in Truckers News.

If you watched the History Channel’s third season of “Ice Road Truckers,” which premiered last Sunday, you might recall Spears, one of the featured drivers. This season’s shows are based on the drivers of the highway, also known as the Haul Road. Running from just north of Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay, it was built in the 1970s along with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

When I talked with George this week, he said the current “Ice Road” series was produced last winter, one of the worst in a long time. One problem was that temperatures were above 50 for a while, and at least a dozen trucks slid off the melting ice. “Them History Channel boys were on those wrecks just like a vulture,” said Spears, who drives for Carlile Transportation Systems. While he knows well the road’s dangers and the demands they place on drivers’ skills, he thinks the show’s producers “kind of dramatized it” with the constant emphasis on spinoffs.

I hope to do a few more entries on the show this summer. It airs at 8 p.m. CST on Sundays. I’ll  also post photos from my ride that we didn’t have room for in the Truckers News story.

— Max Heine


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