Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
Imagine you’re thousands of feet above sea level, driving a fragile cargo of Hindu Goddesses. The roads off the side of a mountain crumble even without any vehicle going through them. Landslides happen often. The goal of delivering a cargo unscathed becomes secondary to actually surviving the trip. If the roads and elements aren’t enough, a bus driver and passengers surround your vehicle after a close scrape.
These are only a few of the challenges truck drivers face in a new show entitled “Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads” premiering on July 28, 10 pm Thursday at the History channel. AETN All Asia Networks General Manager Louis Boswell was able to talk about the show, “‘IRT: Deadliest Roads’ is a franchise from theU.S.There have been several seasons of this show of these really tough men who drive big trucks across Alaskaand Northern Canada. What we’re doing with this series though is we’re bringing them to Asia. They’re driving across the Himalayas andIndia. It takes them completely out of their comfort zone. They’re pitting their skills on the road which are in terrible condition and against other drivers. It makes for compelling viewing.”
AETN All Asia Networks is the company that distributes the History channel, Biography channel (Bio), Crime and Investigation (C.I.) and History HD. It’s not just a reality series that is now often seen on TV. Boswell adds, “It’s observational documentary really. They’re all real truck drivers; they’ve just been taken out of their element. And they’ve been given a job to do in a foreign country. There are four truckers who start and there’s only one who ends it because it’s that stressful.”
Another interesting twist to this series that ups the ante is the addition of Lisa Kelley as one of the truck drivers. She’s a relatively young, pretty blonde who is just as tough and determined as her male counterparts. The other drivers include, Alex Debogorski, Dave Redmon and Canadian Rick Yemm who sports a blue Mohawk. Lisa was able to share some of her experiences through a phone interview. She said she got into the job out of a natural love for trucks and engines. The Freefall Highway in India for her was the most dangerous she’s ever driven.
While some of the guys had real confrontations with bus drivers and sometimes even their passengers, Lisa is more irritated by younger drivers in theU.S., “They don’t have the training and they’re not on the road as much. They don’t have the same experience so it can get in the way of safety. Sometimes kids or teenagers they think its fun to harass truck drivers. They cut them off. People don’t realize how much space it takes to stop a truck. So when they get in front of you and step on the brakes, you might rear end them and kill them because they don’t realize how long it takes to stop that truck.”
IRT was something that Lisa wanted to take on, “I mainly joined because it was a new adventure in life that I hadn’t tried yet. And I wanted to see if I was up to the challenge if I could do it. So it’s an added danger to an already dangerous job. To have someone else with you in the vehicle asking questions and have a camera in your face, trying to do your job as it is. It added to that challenge and danger. It was fun to overcome and see how it played out. I got a lot of amazing opportunities because of it. That’s why I’m glad that I did it.”
The experience has changed her in a positive way, “My eyes were opened to what the world is and how people live like and what trucking is elsewhere. Also how important it is to get out of your comfort zone. It makes you grow as a person, it makes you realize and open your eyes so much that I feel I’m a much more tolerant person. I’m so much more interested in language, travel and culture.”