Ice Road Truckers (2007) s10e03 Episode Script


1 Narrator: Now on Ice Road Truckers Wow.
Hopefully something like this is not gonna happen to me.
There ain't no way I'm getting turned around anywhere.
Narrator: Hard choices I got myself in a fucking jam.
Narrator: and big risks Lisa: I have no steering.
So I gotta start it now or never.
Art: I don't want him beside me.
Narrator: push the drivers to the edge.
Art: Get the fuck away from me! Narrator: In the Ontario wilderness (Truck rumbles) Definitely feels like we're gonna have a short season this year.
Narrator: A renegade business owner's racing against the clock and Mother Nature.
I've never seen the weather like this before up here.
Narrator: Darrell Ward scored 20 tons of supplies for a school being built in the town of Pikangikum.
But the 200 mile trail is in danger of being shut down due to rising temperatures.
Darrell: They don't know whether the roads open or closed half the time.
You might run towards your winter road, but when you get to the winter road you find a road closed sign.
It's not safe, they close the road.
Narrator: This early in the season warm temperatures are a rarity.
But this year El Nino is wreaking havoc for the ice road truckers.
To keep the winter roads intact temperatures must be minus six degrees Celsius or lower to remain open.
If the thermometer raises to minus five or above the route could be closed by road authorities.
Darrell: I got six below zero this morning so I don't know from hour to hour whether these roads are gonna be open or closed.
Narrator: At minus six Darrell's right on the cusp.
Darrell: We're gonna have to have some major changes in the weather.
It's a crazy warm year.
(Engine roars) (Truck rumbles) (Truck honks) Darrell: I'm headed to Pikangikum.
Has it been closed today, do you know? All right.
Ten four.
That's kind of fucked up.
Narrator: The path ahead has been shut down so Darrell's got no choice but to wait it out.
(Engine hums) Darrell: This company's survival depends on loads being delivered on time.
I'm afraid that we won't get the loads in that we need to survive the season.
This company could go down.
I don't know.
(Engine idling) Narrator: While Darrell's down, 50 miles to the northwest rival Polar's on the move.
Art: This is my little good luck pouch here.
It's supposed to keep me safe.
I was given that by a Cree friend of mine.
I rub that every day.
Narrator: Art Burke's looking for luck on a high stakes mission.
Art: Away we go again.
Narrator: A 400 mile trek to remote St.
Theresa Point.
(Chains clink) Art: Be nice to get a trip without anything going to fuck, eh? Like one trip is all I ask, you know.
Narrator: The load of building supplies could bring in a fortune for Polar.
But the dangerous routes rumored to be in rough shape.
It's getting warmer now.
I don't know.
Well, well, well, well, well.
Hey, there big truck, you got a copy, buddy.
Trucker: (on radio) Yeah.
You didn't come out of St.
Theresa's by any chance, did ya? Right on, buddy.
How was the road? Now isn't that fucking something.
(Truck rumbles) (Big thud) The road is getting worse and worse.
Look at this.
That's the top of the muskeg coming up through the fucking snow, eh.
(Truck rumbles) Like this should be all covered with snow this time of year.
This is no good.
This is a bad spot here, b'y.
(Truck rumbles) I wouldn't wanna fuck it up on this.
(Truck rumbles) Wow! Check this out, buddy.
(Airbrakes hiss) (Truck door shuts) (Footsteps crunch) Holy fuck, eh.
Look at all the chains marks, man.
Whenever they were trying to pull this out, look.
Everything tore all to hell.
(Wind gusts) Holy God, eh.
Narrator: The thawing muskeg can act like quick sand forcing drivers to flee and abandon their trucks hundreds of miles from the nearest town.
And this road's so ravaged even maintenance vehicles aren't immune to the trails wrath.
You break through that road run, you'll go right to your fucking arse just like this, look.
(Wind gusts) Art: When you're in the middle of nowheres, you're in this by yourself.
There's none of this call help or any of this kind of shit, b'y.
We screw up we might not get to do it again.
Hopefully something like this is not gonna happen to me.
(Truck door opens and shuts) What can I say Away we go again.
(Truck engine hums) That's all that happens today it'll be a good fucking day.
Hooray hurrah.
Ha, ha, ha, ha.
Narrator: While Polar's wild card gambles down the brutal road 100 miles to the north (Truck rumbles) (Truck thuds) Do some hard trucking today, man.
Narrator: the competition's looking to bank some big money.
Lisa: Going to Winnipeg.
Just got this back haul.
It's a broken loader.
Narrator: Lisa Kelly's hauling a busted $60,000 loader 400 miles from remote Garden Hill down to Winnipeg for repairs.
Lisa: I like back hauls it means that I'm making double the money on the same run.
So that's pretty exciting.
Narrator: A high price job will bring in much needed cash for the small business.
(Truck rattling) (Big thud) Jeez Louise! The road's falling apart.
So I just need to get out of here.
Narrator: But the road's deteriorating fast and within hours is expected to get shut down.
(Truck creaking) - (Thud) - Whoa.
(Truck rattling) (Big thud) What the heck was that? (Truck rattling) (Beeping) (Truck engine sputters) What is going on? (Beeping) (Truck engine sputters) Whoa.
We have a problem.
(Truck beeping) That's the engine, skipping or something.
(Truck engine sputters) All right, I gotta stop this thing.
(Truck beeping) (Sputters to a halt) (Truck beeping) So I gotta get out and I gotta pop my hood and see if everything's good.
And in order to check the fluids and stuff I'm gonna have to turn the truck off which is the ultimate no-no.
Narrator: A cardinal rule of ice road trucking is never turn off the engine.
In these conditions it might not start back up leaving the driver stranded hundreds of miles from civilization.
With the motor failing she may have to make the tough call.
So I'm gonna break the rules of the road right now, ready? (Engine shuts off) (Wind gusts) (Crow caws) Narrator: 300 miles from Winnipeg Lisa: In order to check the fluids and stuff I'm gonna have to turn the truck off which is all, the ultimate no-no.
Narrator: To try and fix her engine Lisa Kelly's willing to take a giant risk.
So I'm gonna break the rules of the road right now, ready? (Engine shuts off) (Wind howls) Lisa: I cross my finger and hope it's something I know how to fix because if it isn't I don't know what to do.
(Truck door slams) What am I gonna do, sit here and do nothing.
That's not my motto.
Just sitting here ain't gonna solve anything.
Truck's don't heal, they get fixed.
Coolants good.
And we're down a little bit.
Right let me grab some oil here.
So that's about all I can do.
Narrator: With the oil topped off Lisa's ready to get back on the road.
Lisa: All right, let's get this truck started.
(Truck engine chokes) Man.
What is going on? (Truck engine chokes) What the heck? Why is it not starting? (Truck engine chokes) (Exhales) Gotta be kidding me.
(Wind gusts) Narrator: While Lisa's troubles continue 100 miles to the southeast, on the road to Pikangikum I don't know.
Narrator: her business partner's still shut down due to warming temperatures.
Darrell: The way the weather's been you might come up here and it's, you got the five below rule, if the weather is not good and the sun's right they shut 'em down.
Narrator: If the load goes undelivered not only will the village go without the supplies the young company will take a huge financial hit it can't afford.
Darrell: We'll do whatever it takes to overcome this obstacle.
The company and the communities depend on these loads being delivered.
So I'm gonna have to get going.
Narrator: But the veteran trucker's got a trick up his sleeve.
This is my first trip of the year into Pikangikum.
I was in here last year and I remember coming out of there before and there was a short cut road.
Narrator: With the main road closed a potential alternate route just be the key to reaching the community.
Darrell: I'm gonna turn off here shortly.
I know my corner's coming up so I'm gonna find the corner here and pull around the corner and check it out.
Yep, this would be the road I'm taking.
Narrator: But the shortcut isn't part of the winter road system and is completely unmaintained by authorities.
I don't know what to think of my road.
(Truck rattling) But it don't look like there's been any trucks on this road this year.
I'm hoping that it gets me out of here.
Hope I didn't get myself in a spot I don't want to be in.
Pretty sketchy road.
(Truck rattling, thud) (Truck creaking) Whoa.
Roads are rough on the body.
Whoa! There are tree branches sticking out.
(Crunch) Fuck.
There goes my antennas probably.
This is not very good.
(Truck rattling) (Truck creaking) There ain't no way I'm getting turned around anywhere and there's no way that I'm backing back through that spot I just came through.
I'm totally fucked if I have to turn around.
(Truck engine roars) Darrell: Now I'm afraid there's gonna end up being some fucking up spot in the road up here that I can't get through.
If that happens Well I got myself in a fucking jam.
Narrator: The private trail's punishing Darrell in his truck at every turn.
(Truck rattling) Fuck, this road's even getting narrower.
Narrator: And up ahead Darrell: Oh-oh.
I've really gotten myself in a fucking situation.
Narrator: it's got a big surprise.
Darrell: Holy shit.
Narrator: The crossing at the trails edge stretches nearly three miles and entering from an unused access point Darrell has no way of knowing if the ice is strong enough to support his 20 ton load.
(Wind howls) (Footsteps crunch in the snow) Can't see the ice.
Packed full of snow.
(Ice cracking) Makes you wonder why you're here doing this shit when you look out across that and you know you gotta drive across it.
I don't have time to sit here and look for cracks in the ice.
(Truck door shuts) There ain't no turning around now.
So I guess it's now or never.
Narrator: On the Pikangikum lake ice crossing There ain't no turning around now.
So I guess it's now or never.
Narrator: Darrell Ward's risking it all.
Darrell: Ugh! Coming down onto the ice.
Narrator: Trying to deliver a vital haul and keep his young company from going under.
Put my window down and see what kind of cracking noise I get anyway.
(Ice cracking) Whoa, a lot of cracks.
When I walked up I didn't find any but boy, once you get out there you can see 'em.
(Ice cracking) I can see where there's water's squished up through the ice cracks right here.
The different color of the ice from the water pushing up through the cracks.
It's pretty thin.
(Ice cracking) Kind of creepy feeling looking at all the cracks in this ice.
I don't know how it holds together when it's got all these cracks in it.
Woo! Dunno.
Yeah, there's a big ol' crack down the middle.
That ice is moving.
I can see water over here on this edge of the ice crossing.
Fuck! I don't like that.
Makes me nervous.
Maybe get across this ice.
Coming off the ice, back onto land.
(Truck engine hums) Success on that crossing.
I am now at Pikangikum.
Narrator: Thanks to Darrell's bold call Now if I can get unloaded and get of here I'll be in good shape.
Narrator: taking the unused shortcut proves to be the right move.
Right on! Well, you'll drop it and I'm out of here.
Narrator: And the renegade company pockets a big paycheck.
With El Nino the days have been warm.
It's gotta be colder to go on these roads.
I didn't know if I was gonna make it.
What am I to do? Once I committed myself I kept going, and, you know, luckily, today I made it.
Narrator: While Darrell turns and burns, 100 miles to the northwest, on the remote trail out of Garden Hill Lisa: I don't know.
I don't know why it won't start.
Narrator: his business partner still can't get moving.
Stupid truck.
Why won't you start now? Narrator: After breaking a cardinal rule of the winter roads-- never turn off your engine.
Her motor hasn't started back up.
See that's the thing, that's like, okay, so it's not running right so you turn it off to make sure it's running right and then it doesn't start at all.
I mean, I took a gamble and lost on this one.
Narrator: Hundreds of miles from help it's up to Lisa to figure out a way to get back on the road or face being stranded through the night or even days.
I don't know what my options are.
Whether you're a mechanic or not you're still a mechanic.
A lot of imagination and creativity has to go into fixing things cause there's no one there to help you.
(Wind gusts) I bet I could bump start the truck.
I don't even know if it's enough hill to get it started.
I'm gonna try though.
Narrator: A bump start or push start is a way to starting a vehicle by using momentum to turn an engine back on.
Once the brake's released gravity begins rolling the truck downhill.
The driver then attempts to start the engine, putting the truck in gear.
(Door shuts) So put it in neutral.
Once the brake comes off it should start rolling.
Ready? I'm gonna try this.
(Truck whines) Okay.
I'm rolling.
(Chains clink) I don't have any steering.
Like seriously I can't turn the wheel at all.
(Chains clink) Oh man this is gonna be bad if it doesn't work.
I gotta start it now or never.
(Truck engine clanking) Come on, baby, you can do it.
(Chains clink) (Truck engine roars) Ah! There! (Truck engine hums) Oh my gosh, it worked.
Put it in fifth, push the clutch in, roll down the hill, pop the clutch and away, the engine starts up.
Wooo! (Laughs) Just gotta make tracks for Winnipeg.
I gotta go fast and hard.
Let's get out of here before anything else happens.
Narrator: Throughout the winter road system more trails are finally opening.
Narrator: But with temperatures changing rapidly (Water splashing) the window of opportunity could be shorter than ever.
So at Polar Industries in Winnipeg Mark: All right, Steph, so I know you want to hit the ice roads, but we gotta put you through a few tests here today.
Narrator: Boss, Mark Kohaykewych, is looking to act fast by taking on a new driver.
Mark: I'm gonna put Steph to the test here and see if she's got what it takes to be an ice road trucker.
Hi I'm Steph.
Heard you're looking for drivers.
Narrator: 22-year-old Stephanie Custance, came to Polar aiming to get a job on the ice.
You got experience? I'm very new.
Narrator: To see if she could cut it Steph: No-no-no-no, no, no, no.
Narrator: Mark put her through a series of challenges.
- (Crunch) Mark: - Oh, that's not good.
- Oh.
- Ugh.
All right, hop in the truck let's go.
Narrator: Now it's her final test, prove what she's got behind the wheel on the local roads.
Steph: I'm nervous.
My test drive with Mark will be my first time ever even on the highway in the winter.
So I'm just praying that I got enough wits about me to do this right.
Narrator: Over the years - (Truck honks) Man: - Watch out.
Watch out.
Woman: Oh! Oh, my God.
Man: All right, you're done driving.
Narrator: rookies have notoriously struggled on the ice roads.
The bullshit you gotta go through up here.
I've just about had it.
Narrator: And it's proven too much for many a trucker.
Boss: I have to cut our losses and cut our risk.
I guess what I'm thinking, Pork Chop, is that we'll get you sent back home.
All right, Steph, let's go hit the road.
Narrator: With Polar under the gun Mark can't afford to send out a driver who's not ready.
Mark: I'm gonna take you on a couple of back country roads here.
Put you through your paces, see what you can do.
How does it feel so far? I'm nervous but I'm, I feel okay.
I've never had to drive on icy highway before.
(Gears grinding) Mark: Watch your shifting there.
(Gears grinding) Mark: Oh, you're killing my gears.
Get that shifting down a little bit.
Can't be screwing up shifts on the winter road.
(Truck engine hums) Let's get you turning right here, and we're gonna get down one of the quarry roads.
I'm gonna get you to try a couple things there.
I want you to go up a little bit of a hill here.
I want you to stop right here.
- Right here? - Yep.
Okay, now start now that we're midway up.
- Now start? - Yep.
(Engine roars) I'm like not going forward though.
Not that easy, is it? Gotta put you through the test.
This is just a baby hill compared to what you're going to see on the winter roads.
Come on, baby, come on, baby.
(Tires spinning) Mark: Ease on the gas, easy on the gas.
You don't want to be spinning.
Steph: We're almost there.
Mark: - There you go.
- Ha.
Good job.
Mark: That's nothing compared to what you're gonna get faced with, all right.
Mark: All right, Steph, stop, stop, stop, stop.
Have you done some off-roading in a quad before? Yeah, in a quad.
You want to do it in a truck? - Yes.
- Head down the power line, see what you can do.
This is what you're going to be doing.
You're literally going to be off-roading with a semi truck.
Steph: Holy shit! Mark: See this? That's what you're going to feel for ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen hours a day.
Does Polar have a masseuse benefits package? Get some momentum.
You're gonna get stuck.
(Gears grinding) I want you to stop right here.
'Kay, so here I'm gonna throw another challenge at you.
So now you've off-roaded forward let's see if you can off-road backwards.
Steph: You want me to back right out of here? Mark: I want you to get right out of here.
Oh, oh you're sliding off the road.
Careful you got rocks here too.
That's what you're going to be faced with.
Don't get too carried away.
You're almost out of here.
No need to get faster and faster.
Just be careful.
Holy shit! Good job.
Nice work.
Let's head 'er back to the shop.
Steph: Woo.
(Engine hums) (Airbrakes hiss) (Truck door opens and shuts) Mark: So some good things and some not so good things.
I mean, your inexperience shows for sure, but uh, I need drivers.
I got a lot of loads to move.
I know what I want to do.
I want the job so if you want to Mark: Um, let me think this over.
Come see me in the morning we'll talk.
- Sounds good.
Thank you.
- All right.
Take it easy.
Steph: The test was okay, some hairy spots.
I'm just hoping that I did good enough that he likes me.
I'll probably just be up all night waiting, hoping, thinking about it.
Narrator: While a newcomer waits for the call up to the big leagues the sun sets on the north and 400 miles from Winnipeg on the road to St.
Theresa Point (Truck rattles) Shit! I didn't see that coming.
See the fucking hole we went in there? Wow! Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
Narrator: An ice road veteran's deep into his toughest mission of the season.
(Truck rattles) Crazy road going up and down, up and down, twist and turn and full of potholes.
It's a full moon, b'y.
Yeah, there will be no falling asleep on this fucking road that's for fucking damn sure.
(Truck rattles) It's a bad road, buddy.
Fuck! Scared the fucker's gonna pop out of gear.
Narrator: The further Art gets the worse each mile becomes.
(Truck rattles) Art: Isn't this wonderful? I can hardly wait to get to the fucking end of this.
There we are at an ice crossing.
(Truck rattles) (Squeals to a halt) (Airbrakes hiss) (Engine hums) There's a mile lake crossing in between here and St.
Theresa's Point.
But I can see the big fucking black spot there.
(Footsteps crunch in the snow) Look at that.
Fuck, b'y, this is gonna be a fucking show.
Narrator: The weather's been so warm the ice hasn't frozen thick enough to support the weight of big rigs.
- (Loud whirring) - Hear the pump? It's too thin, eh.
They pump water all over, let it freeze in the night time.
All that's flooded look.
Narrator: Maintenance crews flood the surface of crossings in an effort to garner thicker ice over night, but only if the temperature drops low enough for it to freeze.
Art: You gonna flood the whole thing or just one side? Art: Okay.
(Whirring) Narrator: It's anything but a sure bet that the crossing will freeze solid enough for travel, but even it does I'm pretty sure that I'm too heavy to cross it.
Narrator: Art could be over the weight limit.
(Slams door) They're not gonna let us cross that.
There's no fucking way.
Narrator: As the sun rises on Winnipeg Steph: Mark's still making up his mind.
He's got some thinking he said he's gonna do.
Narrator: it's judgment day for Steph Custance.
Steph: I'm really hoping that I get the opportunity and I'm also hoping I don't let him down.
I wanna get out there, I wanna be an ice road trucker.
- Hey, Steph.
- Hey.
How's it going? Good.
Grab a seat.
So, I've seen what you can do.
I've seen the way you drive.
You're definitely green.
You do have a lot of energy.
You do have a lot of enthusiasm but I don't know if you fully appreciate what this job entails.
It's dangerous.
It's a really dangerous job.
Guys get hurt out there.
Truck's breaking down, you gotta know how to fix it.
I'm not quite sure you cut out for that just yet.
I-I've been giving this a lot of thought and uh Don't let me down.
I'm gonna give you a shot.
- Yeah.
- All right? Awesome, thank you.
I'm taking a huge risk on her, but you know what, we've all gotta start somewhere.
She's got the drive.
She's got something in her that's gonna make her succeed out there.
You gotta open your ears and you gotta watch and you gotta learn.
- I'm ready.
- Welcome aboard.
- Thank you.
- All right? Take care.
Yeah, you too.
So I met with Mark.
It's a huge opportunity.
It's a huge change in my life and it's gonna be awesome for my son.
So I'm pumped.
I get to be an ice road trucker.
I'm excited.
Woo, ha, ha! Narrator: As Steph joins the Polar squad, 400 miles to the north (Art murmuring) Subtract.
Narrator: After a long night in the truck the company wild card's weighing his odds.
I'm trying to figure out how many pieces I got on the back of the truck and what they weigh so I can figure out if I'm, if I can cross this ice or not cause if I screw this up we're gonna get drowned.
(Footsteps crunch in the snow) Look at the fucking crack.
They flooded this last night, eh.
(Whirring) They pump water all over let it freeze in the night time.
All that's flooded look.
Narrator: The crossing was flooded by road crews in an effort to strengthen the ice.
Art: It's too thin, eh.
This is gonna be a fucking show.
Narrator: But even after a night of cold temperatures It's not even fucking froze under there.
Narrator: the crossing might not be strong enough for safe passage.
Art: Last year, I fucking near went through, eh.
I broke through the surface layer.
Art: No, no, no, no, no.
We're gonna go through the ice here you got that? (Water splashing) Narrator: If Art's over the 34 ton weight limit this could be a life or death decision.
It says 34 ton.
That would give me like 68,000 pounds.
So I'm guessing this, right? To tell you the honest to God truth I don't know.
The sensible side of me is saying, you know Art maybe we should wait and see what's going on? The crazy side is saying, fuck that prick, Art.
Go, go, go, go, go! Eh.
So I think I'm gonna go a little bit with the crazy side this morning cause I think I can make it.
(Wind howls) Before the sun comes up and starts fucking it up.
(Airbrakes hiss) (Engine roars) I don't know if this is the right decision, but I'm doing it anyway.
(Ice cracking) Open your fucking door.
Open your fucking door! Not gonna be answering your stupid fucking questions or nothing.
You just listen for cracks.
(Tires crunching) I'm on the fucking ice now.
When I say bail you fucking well bail, okay? (Ice cracking) I don't know where we're at.
Just please sit there and be fucking quiet with your door open.
(Ice cracking) Look at this.
Somebody fucking popped through there.
That's all we need is something like that to happen and the gig is up, b'y.
Fucking big crack there.
(Ice cracking) (Water gurgling) Look at this coming now.
Holy fuck! I don't want him beside me.
Narrator: As Art nears the edge of the crossing where ice is at its thinnest any added weight could be enough to cause the ice to shatter.
Fuck, ole buddy, don't come near me for fuck's sakes.
Stay way far away.
You'll get us drowned.
Get the fuck out of here! Get the fuck away from me! Narrator: On the ice crossing just outside St.
Theresa point, Art: Look at this coming now.
Fuck! I don't want him beside me.
Narrator: Polar driver Art Burke may have reached the breaking point.
Fuck, ole buddy, don't come near me for fuck's sakes.
Stay away far away.
You'll get us drowned.
Narrator: With Art's load right at the weight limit even a single truck could be enough to start the pressure waves below flowing from both directions and shattering the fragile ice.
Art: Fuck, man.
Get the fuck out of here for fuck's sake! Get out of here! Get the fuck away from me! (Ice cracking) Fucking asshole, b'y.
I got to be fucked to be doing this, eh.
Fuck, I think it's a mile.
I'm not sure if it ends right there or not.
I'm hoping the fuck it ends right there.
Fucking near there, b'y.
(Ice cracking) Go, go, go, go, go.
So we made 'er across.
I only shitted in my pants twice across.
Here we are at St.
Theresa's, b'y.
Narrator: Art makes it to his destination.
(Airbrakes hiss) We got her done again, b'y.
I was scared the load was gonna be all screwed up, eh, but it's nice.
Stayed nice and dry.
Narrator: The high price hauls delivered safe and sound and the wild card comes through big for Polar.
Good day.
Sun is shining.
They're happy with their stuff and they got it.
I prevailed again.
Narrator: Next time on Ice Road Truckers So far I'd say this is the worst road yet.
Narrator: the roads go from bad (Thud) Steph: Holy shit! Narrator: to worse.
- (Beeping) - I have no idea if we'll make it.
I can see how they call this the Death Road.
Narrator: And for the rookie Steph: Say I did go through, how fast am I gonna go through? You're gonna go through probably pretty quick.
Narrator: it's trial by ice.
(Truck rumbles) Watch it! Oh, my God.