Ice Road Truckers

 
(i)

 

Dangerous driving makes for exciting reality show.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series shows the danger of this specific kind of trucking, and highlights the reasons why people undertake it.

Positive role models

The drivers are generally hardworking and good natured, but some are a little rough around the edges.

Violence

There's a constant threat of injury -- or even death -- when doing this dangerous job. Some scenes show accidents (but no injuries). Occasional joking threats of violence between the guys.

Sex

Some mild sexually tinged humor of the "boys will be boys" variety -- including use of terms like "peckers" and "kinky underwear." One of the guys moons the camera, but his butt is blurred out.

Language

Some profanity, including plenty of "hell" and "damn" and the occasional "ass."

Consumerism

Mentions diamond mining companies.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Several of the men smoke cigarettes, and there's mention of drinking/bars. Drivers must take drug tests before the driving season, and that process is documented.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the truck drivers featured in this reality show are always at risk of accidents and even death -- which the narrator emphasizes regularly. Some scenes include mild to moderate accidents, though injuries aren't shown. The narrator also describes deadly accidents from the past while graphics and stock footage (like shots from below the ice as the trucks drive over it) hint at impending danger. The truckers sometimes engage in coarse humor (one moons the camera, though his butt is blurred onscreen), and occasional jokes about "peckers" and "kinky underwear" pepper the dialogue, but it doesn't go further than that.

What's the story?

Up in Canada, where diamond mining companies like DeBeers have set up shop digging through the ice for riches, a hearty group of men make a living driving trucks over frozen terrain, taking serious risks to feed their families and feel the thrill of danger. ICE ROAD TRUCKERS follows the day-today lifestyle of the guys who dare to drive the treacherous roads, as well as those who keep their trucks and roadways in good working order. With a mix of on-the-road footage and interviews with the truckers and their families, this illuminating series offers a peek into an occupation most of us have never even heard of.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Lurking behind scenes of lighthearted macho fraternizing (like mooning the camera before taking the regulation pee-in-a-cup drug test) is the job's ever-present danger. The narrator describes past incidents in which drivers have dropped through the ice and died. And in one episode, an overconfident driver takes a turn too sharply and drives into a ditch, which poses the question: Will his next mistake be deadly?

The show features gritty characters, from veteran Alex -- who's quick with a joke and proud of his 11 children and seven grandchildren -- to twenty-something Jay, who's been on the road since he was 16 and is well respected for his smarts and professionalism. These big personalities keep Ice Road Truckers interesting, but viewers without a taste for rough-and-tumble guy humor -- or the show's inherent tension and somewhat salty language -- may not be in it for the long haul.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of shows like this and Deadliest Catch. What's so fascinating about getting a glimpse of these dangerous jobs? Do you think these shows are more or less realistic than other reality series? Families can also discuss trucking in general. What would be appealing about being a trucker? What would be the hardest part of the job? Why are most truckers men? Would you take the risks the "ice road truckers" take? If so, would you do it for the money or the thrill?

TV details

Cast:Thom Beers
Network:History
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Cars and trucks
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Ice Road Truckers was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byshysaway April 9, 2008
 

Good Info on Truck Drivers

My husband is also a Truck Driver and so I know how the life is but being on tv like they are they should curve their language. I know that they beep the bad language out but kids aint that stupid and they can figure out what is being said.
Kid, 12 years old July 3, 2012
 

Great Show

I love this tv show it's one of my favorites I recommend it to people who like trucking!
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Parent Written bywayne1016 July 17, 2011
 

Ice Road Truckers authenticisium.

So the narrator says, "meanwhile, back in Alaska" ... wherelse might the have been, Illinois, New Mexico, Central America?? Does anybody like 'proofread:?

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