In the Ice Road Truckers television program, a prominent “character” is Rick Yemm. It’s been said that his career in trucking spans from Alaska to Russia and beyond. He even has a “Standing Offer” from producers at History Channel that should the show be canceled, or if he leaves, then Yemm will be able to return for three seasons of another show.
Yemm’s initial character in Ice Road Truckers was a no-nonsense loner with a bit of a temper. However, throughout several episodes, viewers got to explore his background in more detail before coming back to being appropriately introduced to his family during season 4.
Tends of television series
The television series focuses on only one or two truckers per episode, with some exceptions. The show allows viewers to get an insight into what it takes for men and women to drive on ice roads while also getting a glimpse of what they go through to haul loads across them.
What does the order to be involved in ice road trucking?
There are no formal qualifications required, if you’ve got a Class 5 license and a truck, then you can make your way there, but this is far from being enough. It takes a specific type of person to work successfully around Canada’s northern regions, let alone haul loads across frozen lakes. Truckers must be able to cope with working away from civilization for weeks at a time in some of the harshest conditions on Earth.
How much do ice road truckers make?
Truckers may get paid for each load, usually between $10,000 and $20,000 for a trip between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. However, their earnings can fluctuate wildly depending upon whether they choose to transport ‘assigned’ loads or ‘undeclared’ loads. Undeclared loads are not known until they have been hauled, sometimes allowing truckers to make more money than they already did.
For every dollar earned above their set salary per kilometer, however, truckers must pay 25% federal tax back at the end of the year, this is one of the reasons why truckers tend to hate being assigned loads.
Is it possible to have a family life?
For anyone who has seen any of the Ice Road Truckers programmed, it’s evident that there are no women or children involved in many of these expeditions across frozen lakes. Most truckers work for separate companies, so do not share too much contact during downtime between trips. They can maintain relationships at home, but communication becomes something that requires effort on both sides, if they want to remain attached to someone alongside their job, then keeping up contacts can be challenging at times.
According to Berriault
Part-time trucker Jerry Berriault told an interviewer from USA Today that he cannot afford to live on his income alone, something that many viewers might not realize about their favorite trucker. Berriault makes around $30,000 per year (before taxes) and finds himself spending most of it on his expenses for the job, including repairs, food, and fuel. He does not have anything saved up towards retirement either.
After being involved in a shipwreck off Newfoundland, Jerry retired from supertankers but could not find work elsewhere. His wife had also fallen ill with Lupus, so he decided to start looking for any job to support them financially without causing him too much stress, hauling loads over ice roads became his best option.
Truckers face a multitude of risks when they start working for a company. The season 3 finale shows one of the truckers involved, Tom Oar, almost being killed while riding in a snowmobile capsule attached to a large load. Another episode focused on trucker Dan McKinnon struggling against his health and the conditions he was facing across ice roads to avoid another accident like the one in Oar.
While there are many inherent risks involved with working as an Ice Road Trucker, it also pays well, sometimes too well. Truckers must be wary of becoming part of what has been described as ‘Ice road junkies’ who might only work one or two seasons before returning home and never looking back.
There are a few other jobs that ice road truckers can take on board to earn more money. In the past, some have been known to fly helicopters, while others have hand-poured asphalt for construction companies during the less busy summer months.
Advantages of this job
Nevertheless, life as an Ice Road Trucker is one of the most unique and intriguing job out there, which remains popular after all these years. How much money you make will depend entirely on who you work for and how well you can remain calm in difficult situations. There’s no doubt, however, that there is a certain romanticism attached with this type of job which might override any number of financial benefits, it remains something that captures imaginations around the world. It doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon.
- Truckers earn around 14 cents per kilometer (the company they work for takes the remaining 12 cents).
- A 2010 survey showed that 90% of truckers were men with an average age of 47. Exact figures were unavailable, however.
- Some companies pay better than others, but on average, a driver’s salary can range from $75k- to $100k after bonuses and taxes are taken into account.
- Truckers typically do not bring their wives or kids with them on these expeditions. Communication can be difficult at times, but that is what most truckers want, something to break up their life back home to earn more money.
- The most significant bonus comes when they finish the season, which can sometimes be around $30k depending on the company and how many drivers are willing to work.
Most truckers fly out at the start of April, so they usually only get access to messages from home once every few weeks if lucky.
How does one become employed by Ice Road Truckers?
By enrolling in a truck driving school and passing the CDL test, you may begin along this career path. Employers strongly favor hiring drivers with prior knowledge of driving trucks in cold conditions. You might need to collaborate with an experienced ice road trucker because obtaining this experience might be challenging.
The Ice Road Truckers season lasts how long?
Most employment runs from around mid-January to mid-March because the season is so strongly reliant on the weather. Drivers can choose how they spend the remainder of their year after those first two months. It could be time for some people to search for alternate driving employment during the off-season.